A reblog.   Happy February !

Those diamond ads. diamonds-demotivator

It’s that time of year.

I wonder how many couples break up just before Valentine’s Day ?

The pressure to “gift” is even more extreme than what it takes to turn those rocks into the gem that we all crave.

Or do we ?

They are the other cartel. Known as the DeBeers Group, these 12 companies own 85 % of the world’s diamond market. They have been manipulating supply and demand since 1888.

Diamonds have never been rare. They stockpile the inventory, releasing them as they see fit to create the illusion.

When sales were tanking in Europe after WW II, they set sights on the American market. With the N.W. Ayer agency, they developed the words that were named by Advertising Age as the slogan of the 20th century:

 A Diamond is Forever.

Also not true. They are hard to scratch, but given the right impact, will break against a hard surface.

And of course, on a symbolic level, they never guarantee a forever relationship.

The print ads might be even more nefarious than what we see in video. Many are done in fine white print on solid black, to align with newspaper and magazine format.


frog diamonds-hammer-drill-small-89505

Just a few samples.

I rather like the parody ads below, that make more sense to me.

I’m especially partial to the Lucy in the Sky ad, which reads

“Picture yourself in a Van by the River…

while she owns your condo and brand new sports car.”



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99 Responses to Diamonds

  1. Great post, Van. I’ve never been a diamond lover. First of all, it seems like a lot of money for a rock, but also because of all the blood associated with them. Bad karma in my mind. I’m just as happy getting a long foot rub 🙂

    • I have an engagement ring, that of course I never wear. What impresses me the most is that my kids’ generation is not so impressed. I think the industry is a bit worried, hence the stepped-up campaign. ☺Yes on the foot rub.

  2. gingerfunk78 says:

    Love it! Yeah I’m with D. Wallace, who cares about diamonds. I want something useful! Or a foot rub

    • I used to say, if writing me a poem is not your thing, and you really need to buy something, get me a cd (certificate of deposit ) with a good interest rate. ☺ Now, I’d rather have some time alone…maybe a weekend spa treatment ?

  3. When I met my husband I enforced a No-Gifting policy for anniversaries, valentine’s, birthdays, mother’s days, father’s days.
    Any “occasion” is a family day over a home cooked meal.
    It’s heartwarming to me as a mother now when I hear our 4 kids saying how much more meaningful and memorable it is this way knowing we actually can afford it all, but chose not to put a price on what is priceless.

  4. Erika Kind says:

    It is true, diamonds are of the hardest material but also brittel which makes them breakable.

  5. LaVagabonde says:

    Sad, but I had to laugh at the parodies. I remember one of my unmarried friends sneering at my very modest engagement ring. How could you accept that, she scoffed. (My husband is French, and the average French person isn’t as ostentatious and superficial when it comes to engagements or marriages.) As far as I know, she’s still single…

  6. The V-Pub says:

    Loved the Van ads the best, Van! lol It’s amazing, isn’t it? We are actually programmed to desire these things. Hollow symbolism, isn’t it? Yeah, I’ll take the sports car any day.

  7. honestme363 says:

    Honestly, I would prefer an impact drill, a pink one, so my hubby would stop claiming that the blue one is only his. Thanks for the laughs Van. 😊

  8. Well your post just made me feel better about two things: a) I own precisely zero diamonds, just not my thing, plus the ethics and the price; and b) my husband and I do not mark valentines day or gift each other even on our anniversaries. We do mark our anniversary but it is a nice meal with the kids. Certainly no diamonds.

    • We agreed on gifts only on a few Christmases, Laura. I once gave him suggestions, a list with items, catalog page references, etc to make it easy on him. He bought every item on the list. We never did it again, and agreed to forego the gifts. When the kids arrived, we held fast to the idea. I’ll take an experience over a thing…every time. ☺

  9. Val Boyko says:

    Great post Van! Thank you for sharing insights into the never ending manipulation of us all by corporations and marketing… I too get tired of it at this time of year. First I have to get through the SuperBowl.
    I’d love to hear your perspective on the SuperBowl 😃

  10. I have a 1 carat “engagement” ring bought 5 years after our wedding. Yeah – I said 5 years after. We were as poor as church mice when we got married and could barely afford our wedding rings. Why I thought I needed a diamond, I’m not sure… Some dismal attempt at status I guess. Clearly I wasn’t as enlightened as everybody else. I do still wear it most every day.

    But other than a pair of small diamond studs that my husband bought for me (unsolicited) and of which I promptly lost one, that’s it. I do have 3 diamonds (2 small and one that’s also 1 carat) that I inherited from my step-mother that were in her ring. I told my son that he could have his choice of the larger ones (either mine or her’s) when he got engaged. When the time came, his fiancé would have nothing to do with “used” diamonds, so he had to go out and buy a 1 carat plus for her. So not all young folks are not doing the diamond thing. I wonder how much that set him back?

    Finally, have you seen the “chocolate” diamonds? They look like poop diamonds…

    • Yep…I’ve seen the chocolate ones. What’s that all about ? Your 1 carat made me think of my MIL. When the FIL retired, she got them often, insisted they be at least 1 carat. At 86, her hands are swollen, and she can’t wear most any of them. They are locked away in a safe. What was the point of that ? Not sure. Thanks, AGMA, and I’m sure you’re right…it is still the desire of some young women. Just not too many that I know. ☺

  11. Those ads are funny…and accurate. 🙂

  12. Matt Bowes says:

    I saw a piece on this by “Adam Ruins Everything” on youtube. Amusing information about it. They do have use as industrial applications, but doesn’t it seem to anyone that ascribing value to a little rock and trusting the De Beers company to not screw up the market is a little dicey? I guess you have trust someone, but it strikes me that someone could, with a huge influx of diamonds, destabilize and destroy the market in a few short months, and everyone who decided to spend gobs of cash on the diamonds would be outta luck.

    Then again, it’s not like money has intrinsic value, either. Or gold. Ipsit dixit, it is because I say it is..

    • It’s my understanding that DeBeers did that exact thing to the folks who didn’t join the cartel. Copied their product and sold them really cheap, driving them out of business. Nice,huh ? I’ll have to check out the Adam piece. Thanks, Matt.

  13. Choosing and giving a diamond is easy; it is what you do after you give a diamond where it gets really tricky.

  14. George says:

    I think the holidays and valentines day are big breakup times. Maybe the fear of the rock scares some away. Maybe it’s just commitment..:) I don’t know if most people can tell the difference between a real diamond and a fake without getting up close and personal. ..:)

    • The rock, the commitment, maybe even just the expectation…there is so much of that, and of disappointment if it all doesn’t lead to the manufactured image of “romance”. Thanks, George. (That cubic zirconia looks pretty shiny. ☺)

  15. You hit the truth out of the park. I personally know a relationship is not forever. I know people who take what the media says as the absolute. Those who believe the news is not political, will believe anything.
    Great fake ads.

  16. These are the hoot 😄😄 I have my diamond wedding rings but that’s about it. They are pretty to look at but nothing to fuss over really. Just a piece of shiny rock.

  17. Actually, I’ve never understood the appeal of diamonds

  18. lbeth1950 says:

    I wanted them when I was young.

    • Not sure that I ever did, Linda. My mom had her wedding ring, that she promised to my brother one day for his wife. Never happened. When she died, Dad had it remade for wife #2. That’s another story. ☺

  19. TanGental says:

    no one has ever bought me any…

  20. amommasview says:

    Fantastic post! I could never understand why you would give love a price! Looking at some women (and the men too) and the rocks on their fingers I really wonder why it’s important for the relationship. I feel bad for the guys to have to spent such a huge amount of money. But I also feel bad for the girls because if they guy does not spend it she will be looked at the one that’s not worth it by her peers… Although it has nothing to do with it!!!

  21. Isn’t it funny what we value and assign a big price tag to? Not love or dependable, I would pick those any day! xx

  22. Pingback: The Thing With The Ring | A Momma's View

  23. joey says:

    Haha! I like some ramen noodles now and again…I seem to like them more when I eat them with the kids for lunch and not when eating them and so I can make rent without my roommates in those early years, lol!
    Diamonds are beautiful and wonderful and sparkly and they go with anything. My diamond ring is put away and I wear the peridot daily instead. Hmm…Maybe if I had a canary diamond, I’d wear it? Hehe.
    I’m not much a jewelry person, but I admire them.
    The Mister and I don’t do Valentine’s Day. We don’t really give gifts like that. Usually we buy special things on vacation or anniversary time, but not as a gift exchange. Don’t buy for Christmas or birthdays for one another either. I dunno, we’re weird I guess. We don’t mind 🙂 No pressure there!

  24. I was never one for celebrating valentines, but then I started going out with my ex whose birthday was the 14th Feb and that sorted of ended celebrating valentines for 4 years and I just never bothered taking it up when I got with my current partner

  25. Pingback: Blast From The Past – The Thing With The Ring | A Momma's View

  26. Love the satire and the reality! Great post.

  27. I prefer sapphires my self.. LOL.. Loved the humour in your post Van.. And I got married two weeks before Valentines.. 🙂 so enjoyed reading and all the posters… 🙂
    Hope you have a great week my friend xxxx ❤

  28. Haha…loved the post. 😀 Not a big fan of diamonds though…and you are right about the DeBeers Group….:-)

  29. A great post. The film Blood Diamond is very thought provoking too. I much prefer semi precious stones like amethyst or rose quartz. 😊

  30. Love this post Van! I have no diamonds haha

  31. Deb says:

    The closest I have come to even seeing a diamond has been in movies. Though they were things I longed for when I was a lot younger, growing up and seeing the amount of blood they are connected with made me shudder. Now I prefer to spend my money on food instead. Lovely post.

  32. Rowena says:

    Hi Van,
    Once again, your post has generated quite a lot of discussion. I am also grateful for the reminder that Valentine’s Day is coming up because I’ve been so caught up in our Tasmanian holiday, that I’ve been losing track of the days. Our daughter’s birthday is also on the 24th and that always has to be bigger than Ben Hur.
    My husband proposed on Valentine’s Day 16 years ago. He first gave me an an automatic car sander and he was talking for years about how my jaw dropped. He went on to propose that night but I went and chose the ring and he okayed it.
    I’m not into diamonds and prefer jewellery which is more creative than just dazzling with gems.
    Take care.
    xx Rowena

  33. I always found it interesting that we snarkily say that Native Americans sold us their land for a few beads, and yet we value diamonds.

  34. Well, diamond engagement rings used to make sense.
    You needed something of value to live on if your husband left you/died, until you could find a new man to take care of you. Now, however, it’s obviously not necessary any longer 🙂

  35. I do love those sparkly stones, but the price is insane and I am far too practical. I have jewelry with zirconias that I actually prefer, save one.

    I have a beautiful antique platinum and diamond ring that I wear proudly every single day – 3rd generation to wear it. The diamond is “used” (what a concept!). When my grandmother remarried after her first husband died, they kept the stone and his family (jewelers) had another setting made for it, surrounding it with tiny others. It is truly a gorgeous ring, but the fact that my mother loved it and I saw it on her finger for years before she gifted it to me, shortly before she died when I was still in my 30s, is what makes it special to me.

    My first engagement ring, in grad school, also looked like an antique (wasn’t) – the look of the setting more important than the tiny diamond-looking smallish center stone. Whatever it was, it did not matter, but I doubt it was a diamond, or of of much quality if it was, since it didn’t really sparkle. I loved the ring and the symbolism (didn’t wear a band with it). We agreed we might replace the stone some day with something that sparkled, but it didn’t happen (nor did our relationship last, but certainly NOT because of the ring.)

    When I got engaged a second time we were in NYC so went to the diamond district to find an antique engagement ring, then asked the jeweler to price it without the stone. Yikes! We had him replace the stone with am inexpensive look-alike – same deal about replacing if it ever mattered. It never did. It, along with every other piece of “good” jewelry I owned (inherited after my mother died), was stolen in a break-in, save ONE: the family ring that never leaves my finger.

    There must be a magic spell that came with that ring. A few years back I was gang-mugged at gunpoint, right in front of my abode where my van was parked. The thugs didn’t even notice it in their rush to empty my van of everything that wasn’t bolted down.

    These days I have a collection of “costume jewelry” – most without stones at all, and I don’t wear more than half of it anymore. I wouldn’t spend the money on jewelry of any sort today, even if I could afford the most expensive, but I don’t judge people to whom it matters to have a fancy diamond engagement ring. After all, an engagement ring is intended to be something a woman will wear every day for the rest of her life and pass along to the next generation. “Cost per wearing” is pretty cheap, for those for whom that turns out to be the case.

    To me, the way your live your life matters more than what is or is not on your finger.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

  36. Diamonds are overrated. But maybe that’s my superficial side talking because I wish I had a rich husband to buy me diamonds 😁. On a more serious note, if unfair labor happens to make us happy with a rock in our possession, then I don’t like it.

    • We were weaned on the concept that the diamond equates to love, or at least, the serious nature of our relationships. It’s still just a rock. Thanks for the visit and comment. 💖

  37. ComputerBook says:

    These days I have a collection of “costume jewelry” – most without stones at all, and I don’t wear more than half of it anymore. Our daughter’s birthday is also on the 24th and that always has to be bigger than Ben Hur.
    My husband proposed on Valentine’s Day 16 years ago.

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