@TheDilettantista I agree with this and get it - but, um, unlike basically every other part of a wedding, diamonds are actually responsible for millions of people dying and millions more getting displaced out of their homes. Like, expensive dresses suck economically, but a lot fewer people die from 'em. And even if you get a lab diamond, you're still propagating that manufactured culture of diamonds being necessary for marriage.
@Michelle This is definitely true! Wedding culture and the wedding industrial complex is TERRIBLE. That said, wedding cakes and judgey parents are not literally responsible for millions of deaths. Unlike diamonds.
@antheridia Conflict free rings are fake. Aside from the fact that the certification process is bullshit (over 50% of diamonds certified are NOT conflict free), once you realize that diamonds are not rare, you'll realize why a process that artificially increases scarcity is getting promoted by the cartel. Hint: It is not to save lives, it is to raise prices. You're assuming that "because you like it" is completely isolated from the diamond culture we live in. That there's no way that the decades-long marketing blitz and denial of any wrongdoing in diamond mining and production could have affected your liking diamonds. A sharp suit is not responsible for over 4 million dead. Name brand sneakers are not run by a cartel that is literally illegal in the United States. (The De Beers execs don't actually come here, because they will be subpoenaed if they do.)
OK so here's the problem, and it's showing up in these comments everywhere: People say "oh I know diamonds are kind of unethically manufactured and aren't worth anything but I/my fiancee just like the symbolism anyway." You know what this is? It's perpetuating a culture! It is creating a world in which not having a diamond ring is considered weird and fucked up. Individual choices are important, but so is making them mindfully - asking why, exactly, your fiancee loves the idea of a diamond ring so much. (Answer: marketing.) Asking who, exactly, will be most affected by buying it. (Answer: Everyone around you who gets married, and also the people who died to mine diamonds in the past and the future.) Basically, acting like it's just a harmless preference is not cool.
I don't think this article was meant to cast judgment on anyone's choices, diamond or otherwise (although blood diamonds bad, etc.). I read it more as an FYI to a preconceived notion that we MUST have diamond rings when we get engaged because it symbolizes love and all that goodness. Because...it doesn't. Advertising is so prevalent and subliminal that we don't even think about it anymore - for those of you who do have diamond rings/bought one, was it because you REALLY loved it, or because society wants you to (and that is so intertwined between what you want and what society wants for you, how do you really know?*) *And there is nothing wrong (well everything wrong, but what can you do) with that, because god knows I am a sucker for marketing.
Diamonds are different from other goods which are also bullshit. The mark-up percentage is really quite high. They are really expensive, so their purchase being a rip-off makes a more economically significant impact. And that purchase frequently comes early in your working career, when your income is lower and your potential compound interest return is much higher. As engagement rings, diamonds are so pervasive - the post cited the stat that 80% of women who get married have an engagement ring. 80%! Huge number! 80% of people buying a car do not buy Ferraris. 80% of people on any given morning are not paying for fancy artisanal brunch. Diamonds also give the air of commodities, like silver or gold, which do hold their value. Smart Billfold readers might know otherwise, but there are plenty of people in dissolved engagements who are shocked (shocked!) that they cannot sell off that sparkly asset. So, yes, it's no one else's business whether any of you decided you wanted this symbol, but it is still interesting as market fact and has more potentially profound implications.
By mahiki on Financial Archaeology
@Mike Dang Before I finished reading your response I thought to myself, THEmike@billfold.com? It just makes sense to me.
@josefinastrummer I'm single and childless and didn't find this piece insulting in the slightest. This is Logan's personal story.
@josefinastrummer I've purposely structured my life to be as responsibility free as possible: no kids, no pets, plants that are fed on an automatic drip cycle. There's no shame in being a responsible person who has very few responsibilities.
@josefinastrummer I don't know why you are taking this personally. Logan is talking about her own life, as compared to the life of her friend, who is responsible for two tiny human beings. Calm down.