Do Engagement Rings Need An Upgrade?

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diamond engagement ring
From Tiffany to blood diamonds, engagement rings may be due for a change.

What do you think when you someone says, "engagement ring?" Most people think of love, happiness and awww-inducing proposal stories. Others diamond rings with a patriarchal legacy tantamount to purchasing a woman's obedience. If you're an executive with Tiffany & Co, you think of the boat you're going to buy and how your kids are gonna be so rich they won't have to go to college. If you're like me, you merely agonize over the cost. And finally, if you're like Conor Friedersdorf, you think of hands in Cote d'Ivoire getting chopped off.

First off, the diamond cartel. Per The Frisky, Tiffany has an app for the iPhone that lets a woman drop hints about which ring she wants a fellow to purchase for her. Though getting from your iPhone to your iFinger may be a tricky A to C move, it's good to know that someone is thinking of these things. Who Invented Engagement Rings, Anyway?

And now, Mr. Conor Friedersdorf. Writing for the literary, in-depth world news periodical, The Atlantic, he exhorts women to rebel against the tyranny of the diamond trade. Mr. Friedersdorf believes that a gal should ignore the judgement of her female friends over her tiny stone, and instead think of the Africans who have been forced into mining the precious gems. I have two responses: 1) I trust that the Kimberley Process has completely removed the possibility of blood diamonds from the rotation, regardless of what Leonard DiCaprio says. 2) Women don't judge other women on the size of their diamond; they judge on color, cut, clarity and carat (also called size). So there. Diamonds: Do All Women Secretly Want Them?

Maybe Mr. Friedersdorf is right, and diamonds are played out, but I think it's more likely that this new Tiffany app has made diamonds jump the shark. Bring on the emerald engagement rings!

Thoughts on diamonds, engagement rings and/or exploitative labor practices?