Diamonds are For-Suckers


Ever thought of proposing with a Diamond? This article might make you think again...

So I don’t believe in diamonds. It’s not that I don’t believe in the actual gemstone, I do, it’s just that I don’t believe in diamonds for engagement purposes… kind of like I don’t believe in unicorns or stealing from sweet little old ladies. It’s just not my thing. Other things I don’t believe in include Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Big Foot. But the tooth fairy? Well he’s real; I know this because I saw the Rock in the documentary “The Tooth Fairy.” It was fantastic.

Now you might be thinking, “How could you not believe in diamonds, Seth? It’s such an acceptable practice.” Well I believe in diamonds serving a certain purpose. It’s the hardest rock nature can make; years and years of coal under pressure that, most times, creates an ugly smoky mass that can be used for a myriad of different purposes. That part is true. And it’s one hell of a cutting tool as well. It’s just that I don’t believe in the idea of the diamond, as society knows it.

If you don’t know anything about diamonds other than that you’re supposed to get one when your boyfriend proposes, I’m going to let you into a few secrets of the diamond industry. Diamonds are one of the most brilliantly marketed products this country has seen since cigarettes, and might even be more dangerous. Just a little history lesson: In 1938, the De Beers cartel, I mean group, approached N.W. Ayer & Son, a prominent Advertising agency in NY. The price of diamonds had been stagnant at around $80 (1938 money) and De Beers was having a very difficult time convincing people that diamonds were the way to go for their gemstone of choice. The agency came up with the idea to convince young men and women that diamonds were a symbol of love, and that a long lasting love could never be complete without a clear sparkling stone. This had never been done with a stone before. To create the idea that diamonds were the world’s rarest gem, N.W. Ayer & Son convinced De Beers to start locking up their stock of diamonds in safes to keep from over-saturating the market. Since De Beers owned around 80% of the diamond mines in the world, this was not a problem. Well-funded ad campaigns involving celebrities, royalty and prominent female figures started to come out in print, and soon enough everyone was convinced that “Diamonds are Forever.” Future ad campaigns fueled by De Beers came out creating the idea that diamonds needed to be held on to, not passed down, and that the more diamonds you had stored away, the more wealth you would be seen to have. They told America that anniversary diamonds should be given for the 10-year mark, and single women should purchase the “right hand” diamond to reward themselves. Later De Beers was influential in being able to convince everyone that the proper price of diamond to give your sweetie is equal to three months of his salary. Around 12-15K for today’s average male. Diamonds were soon seen as the most precious of stones and love, as we know it, changed forever.

The truth about diamonds: They are not the rarest stone in nature, rubies are. The diamond making process that takes millions of years in nature can be easily recreated in a lab. De Beers is one of the world's last remaining cartels. At one point as dangerous as the Colombian drug cartels, they have no problem paying people who enslave and kill other people to get their diamonds cheap. Now, of course since Leo brought all of this shit to light, you can now pay a premium on your stone to get it “non blood diamond” approved. Well that sure is nice, it makes me feel much better that I can buy a diamond that is guaranteed to not have caused someone’s death. Is there anything else you would consider buying and giving to your loved one that could have a blood trail on it? No? Interesting.

So let’s talk about the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconias. Although neither you nor any of your friends (unless they live in Antwerp) will be able to tell the difference, with the right instruments it’s easy to tell a cubic zirconia from a diamond. In fact, in many ways a CZ is much nicer. Most CZ’s are a perfect “D” on the diamond color grading scale, whereas only the rarest (most expensive) diamonds are completely colorless. CZ’s weigh almost 1.7 times a diamond’s weight, and have a dispersive power .016 higher than diamonds, meaning they are more prismatic (more shiny). Almost all diamonds have some sort of defect, whether it be a feather, remaining crystal or yellowish brown tint. CZ’s are created flawlessly for 1/1000th of the current flawless diamond going price. Makes you wonder, if you weren’t brain washed, would you actually pick a diamond over a cubic zirconia?

In my mind, cigarettes are this country’s greatest marked product. Anyone who can convince a entire society that you’re not cool unless you’re smoking something that tastes like shit, will make your clothes smell bad and will eventually kill you, is a fucking genius. And on top of that, they’ve made additives that will keep you addicted to their product for years and years. 443,000 deaths are caused annually from smoking cigarettes and second hand smoke in the U.S. alone. Ouch. But diamonds have to be the second most amazingly marketed product in our country. Girls everywhere are convinced that their man doesn’t love them enough to actually want to spend forever with them unless they buy the biggest, clearest, best cut diamond they can’t really afford. If diamonds are forever, why is marriage not held to the same standard? The government should come out with the same marketing campaign for marriage, “Marriage is Forever.” Or force women to give their ring to the state when they get divorced as a penalty for the couple breaking their vows and causing the state so much trouble. The man would be out of a ton of cash, and the woman would be out of the shiny jewel she was never going to wear again. One year of celebrity divorces and California would be debt free for sure! According to the last census, in the year 2000 there were 957,200 divorces, a life changing event that in most cases, will ruin one or more of the involved parties’ lives (children included). That number when placed next to the number of lives harmed by cigarettes is staggering. And with diamonds being the acceptable marriage proposal symbol, wouldn’t logic tell you that if you purchase a diamond ring, you have over a 50% chance of ruining your life? That’s a tough $15,000 bet for under a Karat of condensed coal…

I don’t have GEICO insurance because a caveman told me to buy it, and I don’t drink Coca Cola because polar bears do. I don’t wear wranglers because I think Dale Jr. actually rocks them, and I don’t think smoking hot girls will actually show up in my shower if I use Axe body wash. So why would I want to purchase an overpriced rock if the only reason they’re popular is because a long running ad campaign has made it seem that way? I won’t be falling for this trick… for the same reason I wont be smoking cigarettes anytime soon to try and fit in.

So all of this being said, before I propose (if I ever do), I’ll probably give my future fiancé this article and ask her what she wants. Or maybe I’ll buy two rings of the same size, one being a CZ, and I’ll let her choose which one she wants to wear for “Forever.” Maybe I’ll even try to create a new trend, get her a piece of coal and explain that since our relationship will be so strong, over the years it will squeeze and squeeze and create a diamond out of the ugly dirty lump that will be completely and only ours. Either way, it’s good to know the history of the thing that will potentially be on your little finger for a few years to life. Good luck with your next proposal.

WJNTY - Seth

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