In the past 7 years we have noticed a gradual decline in the manufacture of diamond jewelry in the United States. Due to liberal trade policies in our country, a large portion of diamond jewelry manufacturing has migrated overseas. The reason for this mass exodus should be obvious as the labor cost in most of the countries our jewelry manufacturing has relocated to is far lower than in the United States. But surprisingly, this move has not affected the higher end of diamond jewelry manufacturing.
The reason for this is that the largest portion of the cost of a high end diamond jewelry piece is in the material which the piece is made of. The labor cost is relatively low compared to the material cost. To give an example, a diamond and platinum bracelet made with high color and clarity diamonds that has a cost basis of $10,000 might have most of the cost basis (about $9,000) made up of material cost. This material cost would be the same whether the piece of jewelry is made in the United Stated or overseas. The difference in the cost would be in the labor and overhead which would amount to $1,000 in our example. This difference is partially eliminated because of shipping and insurance costs. Hence a high end diamond jewelry piece would cost the same no matter where it is made. A low end diamond jewelry piece would have a smaller portion of its cost basis composed of material cost, and the labor cost would have a larger chunk of the overall manufacturing cost.
As a general rule, most high end diamond jewelry is still manufactured in the United states; this is especially true of larger and more expensive jewelry pieces. The next time you are buying a piece of diamond jewelry, ask about where the items are manufactured … this should give you an indication of the quality of the piece of jewelry you are purchasing.