About two years ago I read an amazing article about the Diamond industry. It discussed how the industry convinced the public that diamond’s were precious stones and meant to be kept for a lifetime. It discussed the rise of ‘Diamond’s are Forever’ as an advertising slogan and the push to convince other cultures that they to needed to invest in diamond rings to signify meaningful occasions such as engagements and marriages. I then lost the article and I could not find it again. I’m terrible about doing things such as making bookmarks. However, I found the article accidentally and now I have not only saved it but taken a moment to write about it.
“Have you ever tried to sell a diamond?” Was published in the Atlantic in 1982. I loved it. It pointed out one of the things that drives me crazy about diamonds. They are a valueless, semi-precious stone that through marketing has become a standard. This is a stone that can be made in the lab. Lab created diamonds are perfect and used in machinery. The industry then decided that the flaws were so valuable that fake perfect diamonds were terrible things. Yet, one of my simplistic questions has always been if the diamond is so precious why are things like diamond edged saws so cheap at the hardware store?
The culture of jewelry has always rubbed me wrong. Shiny polished rocks and shiny metals are thrust upon me as important. My husband was supposed to save three months of his wages to buy me a ring to signify his commitment and ability to pay for me. That is a dowry not a ring. On top of that if he spends three months of his pay on some shiny rocks and metal we have another problem. That money could be used doing something useful and helpful or just saved for later not displayed on my finger in a small item with a high rate of loss.
I don’t care for jewelry. It does not make me feel special. I’m more inclined to pick up natural stones polished into jewelry full of colors and shapes. I am more fascinated by the conditions that are needed to build up the mineral deposits in a rock than I am a stone that is created every time a volcano erupts.
Advertisement does strange things to people. A piece of paper on the wall tells you that a sparkly stone set in gold means someone loves or cares about you and that if thousands of dollars, or more, is spent on this rock they love you even more. I have not a romantic bone in my body. Love to me is when my husband picks up dinner when he knows that I’ve had a rough day at work. Its when he cuddles against me when asleep. That’s love.