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