Diamonds suck.

The Snook and I will definitely not be having diamonds on our wedding rings, and this is partly why. (Incidentally, I just learned an appropriate new word: “Veblen goods.” It refers to products that people only want because they’re expensive.)

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  1. Um, the first statement may be true for the US, but not universally. My mother had a diamond engagement ring in NZ in the 1930s, and so did all of her friends, many of whom were married years before she was. I don’t know about the truth of any of the other statements, but I suspect most of them are true for any precious metal or gems, not just diamonds. Maybe if everyone bought only one set of rings, in love, and refrained from buying more as baubles, it would drop the demand and bring the price down.

  2. My Grandmother had a diamond enagement ring in the 20’s, so I’m a little hesitant about that first point too.. but:-

    I have a diamond engagement ring. Not because I wanted diamonds, I’m quite happy with well made Cubic Zirconias, but because the shape and style of the ring was perfect and totally “me”. To be completely truthful, if the same ring was made with anything else from Rubies to Amethyst, I’d love it still. The main reason because my husband bought it for me as a sign of his commitment to our relationship.

  3. Point taken, M-H, but I don’t think the article was saying “nobody EVER should have gotten a diamond,” but rather that anybody buying one today should really figure out whether it’s the particular style and look that suits them, like misstialouise, or whether they’re buying into the DeBeers “If he doesn’t spend three months’ salary, your friends will look down on you” marketing crap.

    Actually now that I think about it, I’d totally wear one of those new scientifically-farmed diamonds that they’re making. It’s not the look of diamonds that I object to, but rather the fetishization of something that isn’t really all that rare or valuable to begin with.

  4. all of the girls in my office agree with this – check out the secrets jewlery web site if you want the look of a diamond but not the evil extras, p.s. up until diamonds were the thing and engagement present could of been a fur or any item that would last a while

  5. As your friend, I feel the need to say that I wont look down on you ever Kris, and least of all because of my height.
    You should melt down the army men into rings. Ha.

  6. I’d prefer a fur, Miss Fee! I mean, if a person is willing to overlook the ethical quandry of buying a diamond, they shouldn’t balk at buying a fur. And furs keep you warm and feel really soft. I’m just sayin’… 🙂

  7. I think that, like anything, moderation is the key. Too much drinking leads to disease, too much chocolate leads to excess weight. Too much attention on one stone is bad for the economy and really can create a social “nose snubbing.” I don’t wear much jewelry and when my husband proposed to me, he gave me a very small diamond (exactly what I wanted!) and it is perfect for me. When a friend got married, hers was a half karat and she would comment at how beautiful her ring was and that perhaps I wished for one like that. (The social comparison drives me nuts in this area.) Frankly, I think it looks gaudy.

    At any rate, my point is that it isn’t about the item, or the stone, it’s about person giving and the person receiving the gift. Ultimately, it is about a lasting committment made between two people. As long as each individual is happy with their choice, diamond or no, who has a right to say you are wrong?

  8. Ditto with the moderation. I’m wondering how the impact of buying one diamond compares to a lifetime of buying meat/coffee/clothing/gadgets or the plethora of other things that aren’t truly “necessary” for life.

  9. It’s an interesting question, psorr. Most of what I’ve read about De Beers seems to indicate that they’re responsible for a *lot* of the misery in some parts of Africa. We’re talking about something that could affect the lives of millions of people. Would buying into any other market have an effect on that large a scale? Drugs, certainly. Possibly coffee, though it’s certainly possible to find “fair trade” and it’s not like there’s a cartel that artificially inflates all the coffee prices. I suppose some of the PETAns could argue in favor of meat…

  10. I’m anti-diamond as well. It doesn’t bother me if other people have them, it’s just not for me. Partly due to the problems in Africa diamond mining has caused, partly because my practical side thinks it’s way too much money to spend on a piece of jewelry, and party the fact that I lose things all the time and I am 100% certian that I would eventually lose a small ring. It’s not that I’m not materialistic, because I would definitely accept an engagement Mini Cooper.

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