All that glitters is not gold.
The entire system for buying a diamond is meant to confuse, confound and incite even the most patient man. It all starts with the time you're at the mall with your future fiancée, and you decide to head into Tiffany's to get an idea of what you might want. Just to look, of course.
The clerk, in his polished suit and ridiculously shiny watch and elitist attitude, pulls out a ring that you like, looks directly into your boyfriend's eyes and says, "This one is $16,500, but I have a slightly smaller cut for $12,000 if this is too much ring."
When your boyfriend hears this phrase, here's what's going through his head: Who the hell does this dolled-up rock jockey think he is? The guy works fifty feet from a hot dog kiosk and he's questioning my manhood because I might not pony up five figures for an engagement ring?
Even if your boyfriend isn't buying the ring from a fine jeweler and decides to go to a more affordable store, like Jared's, the act of purchasing a diamond is like sitting down at a Pai-Gow table in Vegas for the first time. The dealer basically speaks a foreign language.
There are all kinds of shapes drawn on the table and the next thing you know, the guy chain-smoking next to you insists you have great odds and should bet heavy. So you do it, and lose, having no idea what you even did. This is what it's like for a young guy in a jewelry store whose most expensive purchase to date was probably his HDTV.
Somewhere during the process of learning about the cut, carat, clarity and color, the words flawless, internally flawless, Asscher cut, and dozens of other terms become a cyclone of nonsensical jargon that ends with a guy writing a big check and walking out with a ribbon-covered box the size of a ping pong ball, wondering what the hell just happened.
This brings us to the next thing most men are thinking: the cost is baffling.
Simply put, most guys don't care about diamonds, yet most will agree diamonds are the only way to go. We don't want to put our wife in a position where she'll forever have to give an explanation about what type of ring she has.
But still, we just can't, for the life of us, understand why they're so expensive. The very idea of spending months of salary on a bit of carbon that you wear on your finger goes against every fiber of common sense in our bodies.
This has nothing to do with us being cheap. We look at the Sultan of Brunei's yacht and think, "Wow! That has to be expensive. It has a pool and a heli-pad. I can see where the money went." But when we look at a diamond, and we see all the other diamond stores in the mall and all the other jewelry stores around town, we can't help but think that most diamonds aren't really that rare.
I'm paying quadruple what I should because the boys at DeBeers have chosen to store sixty percent of the world's diamonds in a vault somewhere to manipulate the price so poor saps like me get hosed.
Trust me. We aren't acting strange about it because we don't want to spend the money on you. We're about to marry you! Of course we want to get you what you want (which is why we often ask you for your ring preferences in advance).
It's just that when it comes to buying the ring, we can't help but feel like we're being completely and totally ripped off.
The upshot is that even after all that, once we buy the ring, we get to give it to you and spend the rest of our lives with you, which makes the whole ordeal totally worth it.