‘Conflict’ or ‘blood’ diamonds out of Africa; De Beer’s monopoly of the diamond market and their cunning ‘diamond engagement ring’ marketing strategy (in which they convinced the world through advertising that a diamond ring was necessary to show your undying love); and now a huge cache of industrial diamonds in Russia, it’s a strange old diamond studded world! Being a girl of simple tastes, I’d always thought that diamonds were over-priced and under-whelming, and a lot of the information I gathered while researching this post goes some way to supporting my feelings. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of sparkle is lovely, and the many colours that diamonds come in are very pretty!
I think in part it’s the total extravagance that diamonds sometimes represent that can be a little bit dismaying: one of the excessively sparkling celebrities that comes to mind is the lovely, diamond studded Elizabeth Taylor, with whom I share a birthday. Who didn’t love her, despite her over-abundance of diamonds and husbands! Go, my fellow Pisces!
And don’t forget those famously large diamonds, and the dark myths and legends attached to them:
When you look at a diamond using a loupe, unless it’s a very good quality diamond, mostly you will see inclusions from black specks to large black lines, and the sparkle is taken off them a little by that, too. Add that to a pre-existing aversion to faceted stones generally, and you start to see why diamonds just weren’t my best friend. Raw diamonds are, in general, nicer than their fancy cousins IMHO. But that’s just me.
Perhaps Marilyn said it best. Gotta love it!
However, I have to say that my opinion of diamonds has changed since my beautiful Granny, a living treasure herself now at a youthful ninety-seven, bequeathed me the engagement ring that she received from my Grandpa over seventy-four years ago. It is a beautiful diamond ring, and I treasure it dearly, not because of its economic value, but because it is a symbol of a love which sustained for more three-quarters of a century. The ring has the most beautiful sparkle to it when you look at it in the sunlight, and I like to think that that is in part created by the years of happiness generated by its wearer.
Diamonds may not be a girl’s best friend, but this beautiful engagement ring means the world to me, and I am so proud to have it. Thank you, my very dearest Granny, for entrusting to me such a precious gift. And people, if you’re buying any diamonds, please make sure you source conflict free ones, won’t you!