Diamonds Are NOT A Girl's Best Friend!

I think it’s a real shame that so many men and women alike are completely sucked into the concept that diamonds have any significant sort of intrinsic worth. Especially so when it comes to price paid and resale value.

De Beers has manipulated this single, highly lucrative market to such an extreme degree that the cost of goods and the sale price have no relevance to each other. As it stands, any De Beers officials that set foot in the United States are subject to arrest for monopolistic practices.

Even more disgusting is their sudden corporate stance that DeBeers is buying only “clean” gems that are not a product of the horrendous civil wars in Africa. What they fail to mention is that what they are selling can come from any country and any place. There is almost no significance in what they buy or do not buy as of now. Their current stocks could probably sustain internal sales for decades.

Their ability to co-opt huge finds in Australia and Russia comes from massive liquidity that they maintain in order to absorb any large fluctuations in availability. They recently obtained over a third interest in the Ekati mine and a majority in the Snap Lake project, both in Canada. Finds in the Northwest Territories represented one of the few chances to face off the De Beers machine. Instead, they too have been brought into the fold.

I have always maintained that high quality coloered gems like emeralds and rubies have greater investment value. Sadly, they are are probably mined under even worse conditions than the African mines. It’s just that they are fairly rare compared to decent grade diamonds. I find it especially ironic that the thrifty Japanese have been so taken in by the new pseudo-standard of the one carat diamond engagement ring.

Any comments on the ridiculous nature of the gem trade?

I am a personal fan of the semi-precious stones like hematite. Sure, diamonds and rubies and emeralds are sparkly and pretty, but everybody thinks so much of them and in some areas, SOCIAL STATUS is affected by quality of these stones. I stay away.

Careful there Zenster buddy - those rocks paid for my BA degree (daddy’s a custom jeweler).

That being said, I’ve never been all that fussed 'bout diamonds myself (although the uncut ones are interesting visually). Opals, now there’s an interesting gemstone.

I’m more intrigued by some of the lesser known semi precious stones - the tourmalines for example are very interesting, and I’ve got a ring (by dad, natch) that’s got a dark green almost black cat’s eye (with a emerald cut diamond as an accent -kinda like an eyebrow) - that’s just out of this world.

They do make interesting accent stones in their cut version, but the big honkers are just gaudy (IMHO).

One person came to my dad with 7 major stones (all over 1/2 carat, going up to something like 3 carats), and wanted them all in one ring. I asked dad who she was gonna pay to help her carry her hand.

Could you direct me to a cite for this Zenster?

I’m a huge fan of Czech garnets - beautiful dark red - and amber.

Yes, I am hesitant about diamonds, especially the African Civil War connection.

I tend to like the more interesting semi-precious stones - wring, I’d love to see your dad’s stuff. I’m a fan of beautfiul and unusual jewelry.

Zenster’s claim about deBeer’s officials is correct… or at least what I read in The Economist roughly a year ago – you might try doing an archive search at

I agree completely with Zen and am planning on building my future wife a house made out of cubic zirconium.

“Here it is. The world’s largest cubic zirconium”
“What an eyesore!” – The Simpsons.

we’ll try and hook up at the Flint dopefest. remind me to wear a nice selection…

Ok, slightly off topic. A guy friend once wrote words for the De Beers commercials where there is a shadow of a woman wearing diamond jewlery and nothing but instrument music, violins, I think. Anyways, the words to the song were something like, “I want diamonds, buy me some. Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

That being said, I’ve never owned diamonds. I dont particularly like them and if I ever had expensive jewlery, I’m sure I’d lose it promptly. I’m another fan of opals, I also like moon stones, amber and anything interesting.

It’s certainly true that in the ‘best friend’ department, men got screwed.

Not that I have anything against dogs.

The only diamonds I have are in a ring that I inherited from my grandmother. I think I’ve worn it twice… I’d like to sell it because I would like to hae the cash, but it would cause a minor family scandal, so…

On the rare occasions when I do wear jewelry, I like garnets and opals. But I’m not a jewelry kinda person. Mainly it’s just my watch and wedding band…

An article refers to an outstanding warrant from 1994 that has, in effect, barred senior de Beers executives from the U.S.

I’ve always thought diamonds were overpriced and overrated.

When the current, and final, Mrs. B and I got engaged, I gave her a nice amethyst ring to ‘mark my territory’.
Fortunately, she doesn’t care for diamonds either. Not that it would have mattered. I wasn’t gonna buy one!
IIRC, we spent the money we would have squandered on a diamond buying kitchen appliances.

Get something with some color folks. It’ll be prettier and cost less.

There was also a story about De Beers on “Sixty Minutes” a week or two ago . . .

I’m more into pearls, myself. There’s little I would not do for a perfectly matched string of pearls. Not those new-fangled cultured ones, either—the oyster’s heart just wasn’t in it.

like snow in the sunlight, and Christmas tree ornaments lit by blinking lights, and the Mississippi River on a cloudless summer day. I have owned jewelry pieces with diamonds, and ended up giving them away or selling them. And in the last ten years I developed a metal allergy, so I wear little or no jewelry.

Diamonds are pretty but worth only as much as people can be hyped into paying for them.

I prefer sapphires.
It was always annoying being an April child - all my friends received necklaces with their birthstones - ruby, opal, garnet, et al.
I got ‘white spinel’ - I think that was the old term for ‘cubic zirconia’.

A while back “NOVA” had an interesting show about the race to make large, good-quality synthetic diamonds. It seems a clever Russian scientist had developed a process for growing synthetic diamonds-up to 6 carats, and so perfect that they surpassed any natural diamonds. It went on to say that the patent rights and equipmnet had been purchased by a guy in Miami-and this guy was going in to mass production soon.
I guess this will be the END of the DeBeers monopoly!

Well, at least you didn’t pee on her! :smiley:

I really don’t wear much jewelry. I have a 1/3 carat diamond engagement band, my wedding band, and the promise ring (amethyst) that hubby gave me. That’s all I generally wear except for maybe some cheap costume earrings.

I don’t wear jewelry other than watches (and my wedding ring). And I would never wear a watch that has gemstones of any type attached to it. Now, I wear nice watches (no digital for me), but gemstones just aren’t for me.

But as far as De Beers is concerned I don’t really have a problem with monopolies in general, and in luxory items especially, so their business practices don’t really bother me. And I don’t particularly care that diamond mines are horrible places to work. So, my comment on the rediculous nature of the gem trade is: “I’m fine with it.”

Yogo Sapphires, found only in Montana, are my most favorite gem stones. They are far more beautiful than diamonds, and not heat treated like so many sapphires are. They are naturally a gorgeous blue with a hint of purple.

Diamonds can be interesting, though. I used to collect pictures of interesting diamond inclusions.

You do realize that the group that controls the diamond mines in Sierra Lione–who in fact started a revolution to gain control of those mines–cut the hands of of entire villages, down to and including babies?

Granted, there is an embargo on Sierra Lionne diamonds, but the neighboring countries export far more diamonds than authorities think they can mone themselves.