Working myself in the gemstones business, I can confirm that this is absolutely correct.
Qûr, I think you meant to say that, working in the gemstone bussiness, you are glad Cecil has finally revealed to you as Truth, what you had previously known only through direct personal experience and extensive training.
What about non-diamonds – rubies and emeralds, to begin with? The last I heard, they could be more valuable than diamonds.
My question is, despite the now obvious fact that diamonds are severly overrated, even coming from such a great source as Cecil, how many women will actually accept the idea that many diamonds come from diabolic sources and there are alternatives? And if, one can only hope, the De Beers company came crashing down and the market was flooded with diamonds, would they still want them?
I came to the message boards to get advice on how to go about buying a ring for her without soiling my morals.
We’ve been married three years now and she is still as happy as ever with her ring and still continues to reject the idea of getting a diamond at some point… she much prefers our house and the sentimental value of her ring.
P.S. As stuyguy pointed out to me, there was an excellent documentary that aired on PBS detailing the evils of the diamond business.
“[T]he execs at DeBeers have a special little niche carved out by the guys in red suits with the pitchforks already.” - jamshid
Actually, I was going to ask about other precious and semi-precious stones and other jewelry. The Great One ™ pointedly didn’t go into the brutality that goes on in the supply side, but I’ve heard enough about it elsewhere. What I haven’t heard is if there are similar moral quandaries about rubies, emeralds, and so on.
Particularly, I’d like to hear if there’s any nastiness associated with the supply side of pearls, especially black ones. Most of my s/os tend to be extremely pale and wear black pearls well, and they make unusual gifts (since most people just get white). Should I be feeling guilty about this habit?
Oh, and Qûr: I’m not sure where you’re from, but if it’s anywhere near Connecticut is there a Doper Discount?
I heard about the whole diamond racket a few years ago from my dad. My ex-girlfriend already knew about this, too, and told me she would never wear a diamond, preferring sapphires, rubies, emeralds, etc.
The sad thing is, last year seemed to be the year for engagements, and all the ladies were ga-ga over their new diamond engagement rings. When we all talked about De Beers and the actual worth of a diamond, they all say the same thing:
"Oh, we know, but we’re girls and this is the one thing we buy into."
If you want ethically clean diamonds, buy Canadian. Our northern expanse has yielded up a supply of surprisingly high-quality rocks, and the local native population has taken great steps to protect their claim on the land. A brand-new type of diamond industry is resulting, in which the stones are mined, polished and prepped for retail sale by a non-cartel co-operative.
There was a great article about it in this magazine (link goes to magazine info, not the article itself.)
My post has finally been addressed by the great one.
Good job Cecil!
So I’ve heard (but after I had already proposed). The odd thing is that their prices are usually higher than DeBeers-sourced diamonds. But I guess that’s a supply and demand type thing, seeing as how few non-DeBeer diamonds there are?
I had also heard about similar things happening in Russia and Australia, but then I think DeBeers ended up buying them.
Oops, of course! :smack:
Black pearls are almost all dyed. I’m not saying that there aren’t true black pearls. Just telling it like it is.
As far as colored gem stones-- many of these are mined, cut, and polished in the third world. This is labor-intensive work. So, if you can get it done for $5/day, instead of $15/hr., then you see how valuable a blue topaz might be.
Natural emeralds and rubies, say in the 3/4 ct. and larger category, that are not treated and are internally very clean and of great color are truly rare.
Modern technology has allowed for colored gems to be heat treated, irradiated, etc. This is an overwhelming problem in the industry. And I’m not even talking about synthetic stones, or lab-grown stuff.
Even the labs can’t detect some things that are being done today.
It can only go downhill from here.
I understand this, though it doesn’t at all answer the question I asked. Maybe I need to be more explicit: does the trade in gemstones and pearls other diamonds involve such brutality as the diamond trade does? I’m willing to accept that the average person “producing” a random ruby I buy is likely being paid less for the same work than someone in the USA would be for the same work. Hell, the same goes for most clothes these days.
So, are there “blood” colored gemstones(like “blood” diamonds)? Not that I know of, but I’ll ask our resident GG(grauate gemologist) tomorrow at work.
We’ve been married three years now …
Skott is a showoff.
AFAIK, essentially all the black pearls are produced in French Polynesia or for a smaller part in Okinawa.
I doubt much blood is spilled in either place.
I googled for figures, and I found that at least 90% of natural black pearls (I’m not sure “natural” is the correct english word. I mean cultivated pearls, but naturally black, not dyed) come from Polynesia.
Though I didn’t search for them, I came across a number of mentions about other (non-black) pearls, and they seem to be produced mainly in Japan, Australia, Vietnam…So, I assume pearls are quite a safe buy, from an ethical point of view.
Don’t forget that to make cultured pearls, one must torture an oyster!!
This message brought to you by PETA.
Doh! They went subscriber-only.
Never fear: Fixed link.