Business Insider has just published a 2,800-word screed explaining how diamonds are a sham, created as a status symbol in the 1940s by the marketing department at De Beers, as a way of reversing declining engagement ring sales.
Diamonds, the article puts forth, aren't as rare as their reputation leads us to believe; their prices have been artificially inflated by jeweler control of the supply chain; unlike other commodities like gold, diamonds are typically not a worthwhile investment because the gems are sold at an exorbitant mark-up rate of 100-200% — "As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value."
Rohin Dhar writes:
We covet diamonds in America for a simple reason: the company that stands to profit from diamond sales decided that we should. De Beers’ marketing campaign single handedly made diamond rings the measure of one’s success in America. Despite its complete lack of inherent value, the company manufactured an image of diamonds as a status symbol. And to keep the price of diamonds high, despite the abundance of new diamond finds, De Beers executed the most effective monopoly of the 20th century. Okay, we get it De Beers, you guys are really good at business!
The purpose of this post was to point out that diamond engagement rings are a lie – they’re an invention of Madison Avenue and De Beers. This post has completely glossed over the sheer amount of human suffering that we’ve caused by believing this lie: conflict diamonds funding wars, supporting apartheid for decades with our money, and pillaging the earth to find shiny carbon. And while we’re on the subject, why is it that women need to be asked and presented with a ring in order to get married? Why can’t they ask and do the presenting?
Diamonds are not actually scarce, make a terrible investment, and are purely valuable as a status symbol.
Diamonds, to put it delicately, are bullshit.
Read the full article here and then let us know what you think: Diamond engagement rings, beautiful love tokens or hollow vessels of deceit?