Ask Paul: We paid $6000 for an 'investment diamond'


Q. We are a retired couple in our late 70s living the good life in a country town. 

We own our home and are living happily on our super and part aged pension. Our wills are updated and we are working our way through a "letter of wishes" document we downloaded from the internet (with the knowledge that this document is not legally binding). 

In 1978, we purchased an investment diamond for $6000, which we still have in our possession.

ask paul clitheroe investing in diamonds

We would like to sell it but do not know where to turn. We've researched online but have drawn a blank. We would appreciate any help you can give. - Cathy and Gary

Hi, Cathy and Gary, I am delighted that you are enjoying life in a country town. I grew up in Griffith in the Riverina and have great memories of living in a regional town.

Hard assets such as gold, silver, diamonds and so on have been a popular store of wealth for centuries. Their portability and size make them attractive to many, in particular in unstable regions.

I am no expert in this area, so I "phoned a friend" who specialises in this. He tells me that, with interest rates being so low and a general concern about the amount of money being printed due to the Covid-19 crisis, hard assets such as diamonds are selling quite well.

He put me onto some of the auction houses selling diamonds and jewellery sales.

I had a look at one, First State Auctions, and was interested to see a range of gemstones and jewellery selling pretty much in the price range estimated by the auctioneer. The key, it seems, is a recognised grading certificate, such as one by GIA or GSL, that needs to come with the diamond.

This may be an option you would like to consider. It certainly would be valuable to get a price estimate from the auction house - it can do this based on the certificate.

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories

Paul Clitheroe AM is founder and editorial adviser of Money magazine. He is one of Australia's leading financial voices, responsible for bringing financial insight to Australians through personal finance books, the Money TV show, and this publication, which he established in 1999. Paul is the chair of the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board and is chairman of InvestSMART Financial Services. He is the chair of Financial Literacy at Macquarie University where he is also a Professor with the School of Business and Economics. Ask Paul your money question. Unfortunately Paul cannot respond to questions posted in the comments section. View our disclaimer.
Nicola McMahon
July 11, 2021 4.26pm

Hi Paul,

I have been lucky to have invested in property since the late 1990s after I found out I had Multiple Sclerosis and am now 51.

I now have 5 properties with a combined worth of over $2 million.

The issue is, I'm asset rich - cashflow poor, and although in a secure $80k job in the federal government, I dream of retiring sooner rather than later.

I'm receiving an income from the houses of approximately $60k and a military pension of $20k,

My public service pension is approximately $50k but don't think I can retire due to the loan repayments, plus a divorce settlement loan.

I'm super protective of what I've built and don't want to stuff it up at this late stage, help!


How do I transition into retirement