I will preface by saying that nobody should feel obligated to purchase a diamond engagement ring if they cannot afford one. Additionally, I think it is self understood that nobody is implying that one needs to purchase a diamond ring in order to get engaged…
First off; the argument that kids in Africa are being mutilated for these diamonds, by today’s standards is a bunch of hooey. Yes, there were real problems with conflict diamonds until very recently.
However, these issues have been brought to the forefront of the diamond industry by both tradespeople and consumers alike. Initiatives like the Kimberly Process and others, have ensured that diamonds are mined with the highest standards and can be guaranteed to be free from illegitimate sources and dubious origins.
Indeed, most companies selling diamonds and jewelry today, will have a clearly stated policy regarding their position on Conflict Diamonds and will usually have the ability to guarantee their diamonds against illegitimate procurement.
An excellent video tutorial on Conflict Diamonds (and what initiatives are being taken to deal with these issues) was created by Brian Gavin of Whiteflash and ‘A Cut Above Diamonds’. Watch this informative video here.
The issue of Conflict diamonds has thankfully become the exception to the rule in today’s marketplace.
Therefore, the scare tactics perpetrated by some of these writers, is unfortunate, misguided and incorrect.
Let’s address the other angle used by some of these writers; namely, the idea that De Beers actually created a romance surrounding the gift of diamond engagement rings, which until that point had no greater social, emotional, or intrinsic value over any other functional or practical gift.
They will use this argument to support the idea that the gift of a diamond engagement ring is a market that has been “created and promoted” with all of the people who buy into it, nothing more than blind sheep drinking from the “cool aid”.
This entire argument is not only an insult to the millions of consumers who have purchased diamond engagement rings as a token of their love all throughout the centuries, it is also patently untrue.
Certainly, De Beers may have had a hand in “building the engagement ring brand,” so to speak. It is probably also true, that they have helped support, shape, and increase a consumer awareness in the magic and romance of proposing with a diamond engagement ring.
However, De Beers most certainly did not “create” the concept of a diamond engagement ring as the ultimate token of love and for the marriage proposal.
This “trend” if you will, predates De Beers by many centuries.
A recent blog entry on this topic by Issac at Janus thinking makes a few excellent and cogent points.
“The question is not whether or not whether De Beers created this market, but whether it is a ‘good’ market for those that choose to participate……
“Whether diamond engagement rings fulfill a human need – to commit, and to feel a moment of transcendence beyond our own lives…….
In short. It is. And they do.
But the luxury in these cases is not the ‘What’ of the diamond, but in the ‘Why’ of engagement. The gift is a symbol is in choosing make a personally costly commitment by giving something eternal, pure, and natural and individual…
If you can find a better symbol which is more ‘Why-level’ luxurious’ for the giver and receiver alike, then go ahead exchange it.”
These are great points, in a concise and straightforward manner by an authority on “luxury products” in general and diamonds and jewelry in particular.
In the final analysis, here is what I would like to say to all the detractors of diamond engagement rings. Click on my video.