When it all started
The story of how the hardest element on the planet became the symbol of softest part of our existence – love – is pretty interesting!
There is a common misconception that diamond engagement rings are an ancient tradition. While there is a rich history of rings, occasionally of diamond, being exchanged during marriage ceremonies, it wasn’t until the De Beers invested in marketing and advertising campaigns that the diamond ring became deeply embedded into marriage culture.
In the 1940s, diamond behemoth, De Beers recruited an advertising agency to help turn the degraded diamond sales at the nearby areas into a lavish one. He was successful in making diamonds appear rarer than they are, by aggressively restricting the supply of diamonds on the market.
The De Beers cartel made sure to market diamond engagement rings as a timeless symbol of love, introducing the phrase “a diamond is forever” in 1947. Even though diamonds can, in fact, be shattered, chipped, discoloured, or incinerated to ash, the concept of eternity perfectly captured the magical qualities that the advertising agency wanted to attribute to diamonds.
This well-planned market strategy including projecting Diamond ring as a symbol of love for ages targeted mostly at middle-class American Woman. Moreover, the love of jewellery among the ladies gave it a powerful boost.
The collateral against broken engagement
One factor was the rise in demand for expensive rings as collateral against broken engagements, after changes marriage related lawsuits in the 1930s. As premarital sex was common among engaged couple in those days, but women’s chastity was still valued, diamond rings began to serve as a sort of “virginity insurance.”
a poor investment choice
Undoubtedly, it was all a remarkable marketing strategy which involved the emotions, romance, and a blissful evidence of togetherness — which worked as the hiding agent of the fact that the average diamond ring isn’t a smart and fruitful investment at all.
The resale value of diamond rings is extremely low, often less than 50% of the original price. Further, the cost of diamond fluctuates with changes in supply and demand forces. Therefore, just because someone evaluated your ring at around INR 10 Lakh rupees doesn’t mean you’d actually find a worthy buyer to pay that.
It’s time that we ditch the idea that we have to spend his annual income to buy biggest possible and definitely hardest rock. Undoubtedly, it’s a poor financial decision to spend thousands of dollars on a ring when you are just starting out your life together and could use that money for something more efficient.
- Artificial Diamond
White diamond costs 15-20% lower than comparable natural diamonds, while coloured artificial diamonds cost 80-90% cheaper.
While it’s understandable that diamonds are millions of years old, making it romantics, it’s not fair to term artificial diamond as fake. Artifical diamonds are chemically and physically identical to the original. What they miss is – clever marketing and negative impact on the environment that production of the natural diamonds cause.
Moissanite, a crystal that naturally occurs in meteorites, is nearly as hard and dense as a diamond, has greater brilliance and fire, and is tough to distinguish from natural diamond even for experts. This crystal costs 2-3% of the cost of an original diamond.
- Other Precious Stones
Even though tanzanite is one of the rarest gems on earth, even rarer than diamonds, it is nearly 90% cheaper than a comparable diamond. Similarly, many other gems that are rarer than diamonds, such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, are still less expensive.
There are far cooler, traditional, and financial savvy options available for you to show your love including purchasing a house and spending money on experience such as travel.
As they say in Hindi “हीरे की परख एक सच्चेजौहरी को ही होती है”, for rest of us, it’s a bad investment. That’s why let’s move on…