GemShares and the NASDAQ OMX Group are developing the GemShares Global Investment Grade Standard Diamond Basket Index in the hope of providing "a standardized pricing mechanism for valuing a diamond basket." In the long run, they hope it can be used to develop financial products like a diamond-backed ETF.
Diamonds are a polarizing investment choice. Those who love them are quick to extol their virtues, while those who don't are just as quick to point out their problems.a For detractors, part of the issue is that diamondsaare valued subjectively using cut, color, carat and clarity, the "four Cs" —aunlikea goldaorasilver, they have no simple cost-per-ounce valuation system. That meansapotential investors can be left wondering whether different appraisers will assign their diamond the same value; according to Fox Business' Judy Martel, it also means exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds based on diamond value "have remained elusive." It's against that background that GemShares, along with its partner, the NASDAQ OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ), is developing the GemShares Global Investment Grade Standard (GIGS(TM)) Diamond Basket Index, which it says will "provide a standardized pricing mechanism for valuing a diamond basket that could be used for the development of financial products." Diffusing doubts That may sound complicated, but Andrew Feldman, a partner at GemShares, recently explained to Kitco that the company's plan is fairly simple: for now, its main goal is to convince investors that diamonds can be assigned a fixed value. He told the news outlet, "[i]f you look at barrels of oil, one barrel of oil is different from the other — there's viscosity, there's all sorts of different metrics that people don't really know.aOne hundred ounces of 24-carat gold is very similar, I hesitate to say exactly, but extraordinarily similar to 24 ounces of 24-carat gold." However, "[t]here can be different purities that are minor, and the world has basically said that a certain amount of 24-carat gold is equal to (another amount of) 24-carat gold.aWe're trying to create that same idea."