Friday, August 3, 2007

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Scam

I’m going to offend all of my female readers here and get a silent applause from men around the world. But ladies I’ve got to spell it out for you- you’ve been brainwashed. Women want to go into debt for a useless rock that sits on their hand because of a very cleaver marketing campaign. Moreover, they could get the exact same rock for a tenth of the cost but refuse to do so because this campaign was so effective. The diamond instustry has effectively manipulated human pride to make themselves rich.

A brief history lesson:

Before the late 1800’s diamonds were found only in India and in a few jungles of Brazil, only a few pounds were produced each year.

In 1870- Huge diamond mines were found in the Orange River, in South Africa, and diamonds were coming out by the ton. Suddenly the market became diluted with diamonds

British financers who organized the South Africa mines realized that with the influx of diamonds into the market, their investment was becoming worthless- the value of a gem depends on its scarcity.

All investors then merged their interests into a single entity that then controlled the production of diamonds, and thus give the illusion of scarcity. In 1888, enter De Beers, which then controlled all diamonds- operating under different names in different countries, but all roads lead back to De Beers- owning diamond mines world wide.

Next, the marketing campaign- in September of 1938, the son of the founder of De Beers, Oppenheimer, came to the US, and met with an ad agency- he was concerned because the demand for diamonds was low. They wanted Diamonds to be marketed to the masses. (I know this is getting kind of dry- but stick with me here)

They then sought out to “change the social attitudes of the public at large and thereby channel American spending toward larger and more expensive diamonds instead of competitive luxuries” Since young men bought over 90% of engagement rings, it was crucial to inculcate in them that diamonds are the gift of love. The larger the diamond, the greater the love, similarly young women were encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.

How was this brainwashing of America executed? Product placement. Movie stars were given diamonds to use as their symbol of love. Society photographs were given to newspapers linking diamonds to romance. Fashion designers started talking about the trend toward diamonds. Royalty started wearing diamonds.

Then in 1947, De Beers gave highschool assemblies on diamonds. Yes, they came into high schools and they lectured STUDENTS on diamonds. Continuing all the while to give diamonds to celebrities, photographing them and then giving their pictures to the media to print.

That is when the slogan “A Diamond is Forever” came from De Beers.
Here’s where we get to the crux of why diamonds are a scam- conspicuous consumption. De Beers’ marketing company realized Americans are motivated in their purchases not by utility, but because it was a symbol of socio-economic achievement.

“Promote the diamond as one material object which can reflect in a very personal way, a man’s success in life”

Toward the 1960’s 20 years of advertising and marketing campaigns had their effect. Since 1939 an entirely new generation of young people has grown to marriageable age," it said. "To this new generation a diamond ring is considered a necessity to engagements by virtually everyone." The message had been so successfully impressed on the minds of this generation that those who could not afford to buy a diamond at the time of their marriage would "defer the purchase" rather than forgo it. Mission accomplished. Americans were duped.

No more saving money for a down payment on a home, no more paying off the car, women had been successfully taught that if a man loves her, he’ll buy her a big fat diamond.

Fast forward to 2007- Men are willing to pay around $7,000 for a diamond. What is the ROI (return on investment) on a diamond? Does it feed you? Clothe you? Give you good memories? Shelter? Nothing. It glitters and sits on your hand.

Can you tell the difference between a Cubic Zirconium and a Diamond?

There’s an alternative to the CZ, it’s a Moissanite. Moissanites have the exact same properties as diamonds, but they are 1/10 the cost and aren’t farmed by small African children. (I’ll talk about diamond wars at another date)

I took my Moissanite ring in to get sized by Jared’s jewelers. They looked at the stone under a microscope and used one of their ‘diamond testing machines’ to test the quality. They then asked what Brent paid for it. Brent replied “$700.” The girl smiled and said, “You mean $7,000 don’t you” His response, “No, $700. You know that’s not a real diamond don’t you?”

Her face went white, her colleague started to stutter, “but, but, it tested, it tested….” Brent said “it’s a Moissanite” they practically threw the ring back at us “We can’t have that ring in here”

Why? Because it’s a diamond. Technically by all standards, it’s a diamond, and it’s a perfect stone. If these were to become popular the diamond industry would crumble.

Click Here For Moissanite Info

The purpose of this post isn’t to make you feel bad for the ring you have. It’s a symbol that your husband loved you so much that he sacrificed a great deal of income on something totally worthless to make you happy. The purpose of this entry is to create awareness, that diamonds are really worthless, and the only reason women want one is because the company that sells them had a brilliant marketing campaign. Try selling yours and see how much you can get. Maybe, if we teach our daughters to value substance over image, we might raise a new generation that won’t need a diamond to prove their love.

Can you tell which picutre is a Moissanite and which one is a Diamond?

Girls, it looks like we’re going to have to find a new best friend.

Find the full story HERE


crazy4danes said...

He are going to make a bunch of women mad! :) I love it! But this is a problem not only with diamonds...I see people purchase cars they really can't afford to get the approval of society, same goes with houses. What do we think when we see a nive BMW go down the road..."they are obvioulsy loaded!" Same goes for diamonds. All material things have been marketed to make a statement with social status..even clothes! But back to diamonds :)... Moissanite is nice and I love the fact that it has all the properties of a real diamond...the only problem...they have a much yellower color than real diamonds. I am suprised that Jared didn't notice that right away. The color of Moissanite doens't even compare to that of a real diamond. There is no way for Moissanite to be completely clear like a diamond. I have done my reaserch on man made diamonds and there are a ton of great ones out favorites are the Russian made ones. My friend has a Moissanite diamond...she too paid $700 for it...however it is quite yellow, so she just tells her friends that she doesn't want knowing it's not real, that it is low grade in color and that's why they could afford such a huge diamond. Now, not that I'm saying that real diamonds are the only way to go because I'm not...and I agree...unless you have the money laying around for a nice big a man made one! I think it's rediculous to FINANCE jewlery!!! Hello!!! That's like the lamest thing I have ever heard of! Diamonds are pretty...I LOVE diamonds, but not to the extent of financing one!!! I do think it's sad that diamonds have become a way for people to judge finacial status...but the facts are real, and that's just how it is! So the real thing to do like you said is educate our children about the unimportance of such things..then maybe the trend will turn (but not likely). I have to admit though, I love wearing my diamond ring, women always look at other women's rings and that's just the way it is and it does give me a sense of pride everytime someone gives me a compliment on that a good thing? Maybe not...but like you said it's how we have been raised. My mom was always proud of her jewlery, so I always wanted one like my mom's. We are conditioned to believe the things we do, and until society puts more importance on other things sadly this trend will continue.

Salt H2O said...

I've heard that they use to look more yellow. There have been some HUGE advancements in Moissanites in the past 5 years. I've looked at my stone next to a diamond,if anything the moissanite is more brilliant.

If you go to the moissanite website you can see the stones, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Like you said, it's really not about the moissanite, it's about how we've been strategically manipulated to want something because De Beers wanted to sell more diamonds.

Will & Natalie Giddens said...

I totally agree! I have a real diamond ring and I've made Will promise never to buy me diamonds again. I appreciate all he went through to be able to purchase me a ring, but now I wish I would have been more insistent on him getting me whatever - even though I knew a bunch of what you wrote before I even got engaged, I too, fell victim to the whole "campaign". Diamonds are dumb and I think that when women compare their rings with other women's rings, they're being dumb. I'd prefer to have pearls or some other nice stone, just not diamonds. GREAT post! You rock!!!

crazy4danes said...

Wow! I guess Moissanite has come a long way! My friend and I reaserched all lab created diamonds when she was getting engaged, and she got her Moissanite diamond from Morgan Jewlers and they told her that was the only way they came (yellow in color) it's good to hear that they are nice and brilliant now! :) The funny thing is for the most part no one can why strap yourself for a real one...I keep telling my brothers there's no shame in buying lab created diamonds...I feel men have a lot of pressure too, not just women when it comes to what they want their women to wear. I want to upgrade to a 2 carat diamond and I told Dan that there's no way I would pay that much for a real 2 carat diamond, and that we'd go lab created for sure, and Dan's not to sure about that! He doesn't want me wearing something fake! Why?!?! No one can tell!!!! So again I think that the diamond companies were pretty smart because not only do women think they've gotta have them, me think the women gotta have them too or they look like lousy providers! Crazy! I love my diamond I have now, but now that I have a kid I feel there are better things to be done with that a college fun!

No Whining said...

Does this mean you don't want me to give you my one carat diamond? I guess I can give it to one of the other kids then? Maybe you have noticed I haven't worn it for many many years...a wedding band is just fine. I am glad I have a smart daughter.

Salt H2O said...

Since I'm already going to get the house, the boat and the Rolex, I guess one of the other kids can have the ring. :)

f*bomb. said...

Soooo...That I lounge around in the nude wearing nothing but glittering diamonds all day...This bothers you?

k8 said...


Dubious Brown said...

for the price of a 10000 dollar ring from the mall you could both fly to south america and have ring made from gold from the Andes and then put a Moissanite stone in and still have money to travel to Europe. Then you'd actually have an heirloom with meaning behind it. not a souvenir from your trip to the Kay Jewelers.

Vanilla Vice said...

I have been saying this for over a year now! Thank you so that I have a reference when I start ranting in public places about how whether you're left or right, diamonds are wrong! They are anti-capitalist (DeBeers is a monopoly) and anti-humanitarian, slaving children and families. Blood Diamond is such a great film to illustrate every reason why diamonds are ridiculous and plentiful.

Mikie said...

"It’s a symbol that your husband loved you so much that he sacrificed a great deal of income on something totally worthless to make you happy."

That made me laugh out loud. Awesome! So what if a guy get's his fiance one of these Moissanites and she thinks it's a diamond? What she doesn't know can't hurt?

I think it's curious that for thousands of years people have used precious gems and metals as a means to trade, that they've valued them so much. Reminds me of something Brigham Young said of people who wanted to go west for the gold rush:

"The time will come that gold will hold no comparison in value to a bushel of wheat. Gold is not to be compared with it in value. Why would it be precious to you now? Simply because you could get gold for it? Gold is good for nothing, only as men value it. It is no better than a piece of iron, a piece of limestone,or a piece of sandstone, and it is not half so good as the soil from which we raise our wheat, and other necessaries of life. The children of men love it, they lust after it, are greedy for it, and are ready to destroy themselves, and those around them, over whom they have any influence, to gain it."

Anyways, I appreciate this post. The fundamental principle is that "things" have no intrinsic value, only people do. While the market might put a price tag on a diamond, it's only worth as much as you value it (the meaning you give to it).

And thanks for the heads up about Moissanites. Bling for 10% of the cost, score!

McEvoy said...

Maybe you should post this blog to the Ensign. I'm sure you'll build a 'loving' following. I think its funny that people think man made is Fake. It a technological advanced way of getting what you want w/o paying the high price. Fake is a facade, saline breast, or smiling at a person you want to strangle. Finding a better alternative doesnt seem fake to me.

Korster love your blog.

Salt H2O said...

That is one of the many reasons why you're one of my favorite people.

Barowdwngs said...

Brilliant blog post. I just happened across it but you hit the point right on the head. I've taken a lot of crap for telling people the exact same thing over the years.

I'm going to invite you to my wedding when that day comes. Count on it.

Salt H2O said...


Check out the History Channel special on Blood Diamonds- you can see clips of it on You Tube- it'll make you sick to your stomach to see how other humans live to feed our vanity.

In addition- why not just buy a girl a Moisenite? Like she's going to know! With the exact same properties as a diamond not even a jewler can tell the difference!

Allie said...

Seems to me, if you're going to marry someone, it would be better to have the same view on the sillyness of diamonds then to buy a Moisenite and pretend it is something it isn't.

If I had known about Moisenite, I'd have gotten that instead of diamonds. I didn't want a big stone that would catch on things, I have ten small diamonds set into my ring (kind of like an eternity band I guess). I like it, I like wearing it, Plus, since it's platinum and pretty heavy, I always felt like if I had to punch someone, the ring would make things more effective.


Viktoria said...

you are wrong. First of all, it is not a rock.. humans are attracted to bright, shiny things.. Diamonds are beautiful ... anyway, my point was to the woman who stated that people get bmws and clothing to make a statement... False( some do) but if you ever had a chance to drive a BMW and a toyota.. BMW will feel like driving on clouds... I think you are just saying that because you are not in a position to afford such a thing so to make yourself feel better you tell yourself that the people who drive bmws or wear expensive clothes(handmade and are fitted for your body, made with expensive fabrics) are insecure... no, you get what you pay for...

Salt H2O said...

Did you even read the post or did you just jump to the comment section? Forget the part that America was brainwashed to pay thousands of dollars for rocks that there is a sheer over abundance for- forget that Moisenites have the exact same properties as a diamond, and sure, forget that these worthless stones were mined by small African children- they're 'pretty' and they make me feel 'special'.

Hey if you derive your self-esteem from what's on your body, that's your issue.

Everyone that knows anything about cars knows that the BMW is a pathetic excuse for a luxury car. Start talking Porsche and we'll have a conversation.

As to getting what you pay for- I have yet to find a $4,000 purse that couldn't carry my stuff just as easily as a $50 purse. But feel comfortable surrounding yourself by status symbols that I'm sure you didn't earn yourself. Lastly, I wouldn't go around making assumptions about how much money complete strangers on the internet make/have. It makes you look like a moron.

Carrie and Karl said...

I realize it's been awhile since anyone commented on this post, but my sister Della sent me the link since we were talking about diamonds today.
I have a 1/2 carot diamond ring, and I love it, I actually would have been ok with a CZ, but since I have a friend in the jewelry business (a really good friend), I was able to get an absolutely gorgeous ring, and my sweetie paid for it with cash. The thing I love about the ring isn't that it's a diamond, but that the ring was actually designed for me and has symbolism all over. And while it doesn't have a return on it like some investments, if it gets stolen it is covered by our homeowner's insurance for more than we paid for it.
A couple years after we got married my sweetie gave me a matching necklace- with a CZ, and I love it. I'll have to check out the Moissonate thing.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. Could not agree with you more. A diamond has no redeeming quality to it. It is a shiny rock. It has no practical use what so ever. I am absolute about few things, but one thing is for sure, I WILL NEVER BUY A DIAMOND.

Anonymous said...

We'll diamonds do have some practical purposes, such as diamond chips that are used in drills to cut very hard materials. But other than that, not really. My boyfriend recently told me that he's going to buy me a fake engagement ring which initially annoyed me because I took it as I didn't mean enough for the real thing, but the more I think about it, I'd much rather have a moissanite and use the money saved to start our lives together without having to struggle so much. Look at this way: piece of mind that your ring is real, or money towards the down payment of your first home? I know what I'd prefer more...

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aciddmc said...

I don't think degrading expensive fashion and vehicals which are a form of ART is valuable to this discussion. BMWs are beautiful, well made vehicals regardless of how they stack up to Mercedes or Porche, I'd rather drive one than a Sunfire any day because of it's style and comfort. As far as clothing goes, I think most of us draw some sort of self-esteem from what we wear. Anyone who goes out looking like a slob is going to feel like a slob to some degree. Plus fashion again, is an art form, plain and simple - as much as painting or music. People who are insulting high fashion as a need for the insecure either don't understand that or have no genuine respect for art. I completely agree that diamonds are ridiculous and an unwarrented scam however, because they aren't art, just a rip-off, and if someone wants some sparkle on their finger there are much cheaper ways of doing it.

Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

We should be friends.

I'm libertarian, from Texas, Mormon, and I wrote a post about this same subject on my blog.

I found your blog through FMH and will follow it from now on.