A couple of years ago, Ira Weissman, one of the veterans in the diamond industry seriously stirred the waters when he published his article “7 Reasons Why Diamonds Are A Waste Of Money” for Huffington Post. Quickly, a debate started and there were various experts defending the diamond industry, but also plenty others who agreed with Weissman’s ideas.
Although he wasn’t the first one to state this idea, his piece really started somewhat of a mini-revolution among Internet users and the article has become the main motivation for many young couples not to splurge for a diamond engagement ring.
Fact is diamonds are part of our life, whether we like it or not, because these precious gemstones were used for decorative purposes since ancient times. Early references to diamonds come from India in Sanskrit texts. Due to their qualities and because they were rare gemstones, diamonds quickly became a trade item in many cultures. However, diamonds are not meant to symbolize only the social status or wealth. They are symbols of love, purity, power, strength and beauty. Diamonds are rare, beautiful, can’t be easily cut and are impervious to fire, so it’s no wonder ancient Greeks thought they were tears of Gods fallen on earth and ancient Romans believed diamonds were splinters of fallen stars. As a matter of fact, the Romans far not that far away in their assumption, as a recently discovered white dwarf star is made entirely out of diamond.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and let’s get back to Weissman’s article and answer the stringent question: “Are diamonds really a waste of money?”
First, Weissman states diamond engagement rings are just a marketing product of the 20th century. That’s only partially true, because that’s when they became more popular, but engagement rings were not that uncommon starting with the Industrial Revolution, when diamonds began to be sold even by department stores because new diamond mines were found, and they weren’t reserved only for the upper class and those who were wealthy enough to afford them. Noblemen and royals used to offer diamond rings as gifts for centuries. The first diamond engagement ring in the history, is the one received by Mary of Burgundy in 1477. So no, it’s not a new tradition made by marketing agencies, it’s just that diamond rings were not that popular before De Beers and their ad campaign. It’s the same as Santa Claus. Just because Coca-Cola put an old man in a red suit, it doesn’t mean people didn’t have this tradition under different names and meanings for each culture.
Another idea stated in the article is that diamonds are not a real investment because you can’t sell them for exactly the same price. Yes, that may be true if you want to sell your diamonds after a couple of years, but diamonds, and jewelry in particular is always going to be valuable and that’s why jewelry is inherited by children, grandchildren or other family members. So if you were to inherit your grandmother’s diamond ring, you could keep is as a cherished memory or you could sell it for a good amount of money and use it however you want. So no, you don’t get rich by buying and selling diamonds, but the gemstones are still worth a lot of money if you were to sell them.
Spotting fake diamonds is tricky, and yes, many online dealers and even brick and mortar dealers are trying to scam their customers, but now a days, there are so many technological processes used to establish the real value of a diamond, that it’s practically impossible to get scammed. Just make sure you don’t buy anything without getting an expert opinion, best from an independent appraiser, who has no interest in telling you a diamond is worth more or less and will only give you the true facts.
Another controversy related to diamond rings is how much you spend for them. This is a very subjective matter, as for each individual money has different values. Some prefer to spend it on necessities and save the rest, while other believe you only have one life and you should really enjoy it. When it comes to diamond engagement rings, no woman will tell you a diamond is the only sign of a man’s love and many brides don’t want a diamond. That’s absolutely natural, everyone’s entitled to make their own choices, but fore many brides, a diamond engagement ring is their most precious possession. Some users form the weddingbee.com boards explain it best:
“I wish I could say that I’d be fine with whatever, but honestly I wanted a real one. Its the only “real” piece of jewelry I own and its important to me. I wear it everyday though and I plan to wear it everyday for the rest of my life so I wanted it to be special. To me having the real thing was worth it. ( board user: Mrs.PinkPeony)”
“My husband was able to afford a nice ring and I love it. If we’d been in a different financial situation at the time he got the ring, he probably would’ve purchased a smaller diamond, but still a real one. (board user: QueenBecca037)”
“I would care. I hate saying it, but it’s true.
I got a real diamond, but it’s small. Having a real diamond was important to me because the thought of having a “fake” diamond symbolizing our engagement just didn’t sit well with me. I know, it makes no sense because a diamond doesn’t determine the status of your relationship, but that’s just how I feel (board user: Miss Chapstick)”
On the board, there are plenty of brides who don’t specifically want a diamond engagement ring, but for some, the ring symbolizes something and it was well worth spending the money for it.
Other arguments presented by Weissman in his article or not even convincing enough, he just basically says you don’t need a diamond to prove your love. Yes, that is completely true, but that’s not why people buy diamond engagement rings. Let’s admit it, if someone were to do that, the relationship is doomed from the start. But diamonds are a traditional symbol, whether we like it or not. Diamond jewelry is also practical. Usually the engagement ring is worn for any occasion, every day. Diamonds, unlike other gemstones “go with everything”, so many women like the fact they don’t have the hassle of accessorizing diamond jewelry according to outfits, occasions or events.
Bottom line is diamonds are not a waste if it’s something you really want, just like the latest iPhone is not a waste for those who love the brand and are crazy about these gadgets. Diamond engagement rings are just a choice like any other made in life and no one should be influenced by what the media or anyone else for that matter says about it.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com, user: PublicDomainPictures