Diamonds are a jeweler’s best friend and a bright, shiny light on our collective ignorance

I’m still amazed by this fact that has been known for years and years and years, and yet like teabags to Palin, people continue to beeline for jewelers to purchase diamonds and gift them as if they’re this rare, amazing and precious stone. Rare, they ain’t.

Getting caught up on my Harper’s mags today (I’m just reading the June 2010 issue) and there’s another great article to wit.

DeBeers got us by the stones

The gist: The diamond industry is an artificial, counterfeit and controlled market. The worth of that $2,000 diamond on your finger – in your world – is $2,000 because that’s what you paid. In the real world, it’s almost worthless. That’s because a single, very secretive corporation/organization (or cartel), essentially the DeBeers, control the number of diamonds on the market, and simple supply and demand economics allows them to keep that cost exactly as high as they want it to be. The very well-documented secret is that if all the shiny, sparkly, beautiful, precious diamonds currently gobbed into bags on shelves in great big room-sized DeBeers-controlled vaults around the world were suddenly couriered to the bajillion jewelery shops in all the malls, you could probably get a fistful for a few hundred dollars.

Your diamond is probably worthless, sad to say. But the worst part is that we’re all taken for complete suckers – over and over and over again. I count myself among the sucker population. But I’m done. I’ll never buy another. They’re stones, rocks. The only difference is someone doles them out like candies to the poor kids chasing their limo.

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