Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend?

Nareen Manoukian

Sure, we all can read some trendy article on the Internet about why women shouldn’t want diamonds. And we can talk big about how women have been “psychologically conditioned” within the past 60 years to believe that they deserve them. But really, when it comes down to it, why do most women expect diamonds? And, more importantly, should they expect diamonds?

Different women have different reasons for why they think diamonds are necessary for an engagement ring. Some women believe that diamond rings are the ultimate sacrifice men will make to signify their betrothal. Simply put, it’s like a pricey “hold” tag placed on that leather recliner at Levitz. It says: This girl is taken because someone paid top dollar for her. Okay, we get it. Most women want to feel wanted, and an expensive piece of jewelry does exactly that. But why diamonds specifically?

They’re precious stones, and that makes them expensive. Though, no one really stops to think that sapphires, emeralds and rubies are precious stones. And rubies are red, an added plus if you’re into that whole symbolism thing. Is it because diamonds are white and “pure” like, as everyone knows, the love between a man and a woman is in all the fairy tales? Some people may tell themselves that, but diamonds are more likely sought because they are transparent and will match all clothing. Then again, white sapphires are also clear and are quite stunning. And, dare I mention, so is the dreaded cubic zirconia.

So, why diamonds? Is a diamond really “forever”? You can bet on that. They have no investment value, as you will see if you try to sell one back. Perhaps diamonds are so in demand because they are hard to mine. And that somehow signifies a man’s love for the woman he loves. Well, this would only hold true if that man travelled to Africa or India and mined that hunk of carbon all by himself. Otherwise, that rock might symbolize the slave labor that a bonded child was put through in order to work off his or her family’s debts. How’s that for romance?

Another misconception is that diamonds are rare. Surely no one believes that, with millions of carats being mined each year. Jewelry stores all over the world carry hundreds of diamonds and will eagerly sell every last one. Just about every married woman in America wears on one her left hand. There’s nothing rare or special about that.

Then why are they so expensive? That might be the doing of the De Beers cartel. A controlled output, which curiously resembles something of a diamond monopoly, will certainly keep diamond prices high.

With all this said, gentlemen, wouldn’t you rather put that money to use on a good flat screen TV? Ladies, let the common women wear the common gemstones. If you’re looking for something “rare” and “unique” that not every woman owns, how about opting for something really traditional? I’m talking B.C. I’m talking Ancient Egypt. Lapis lazuli, anyone?