It’s fashionable today to believe that diamonds have no inherent value, and that they are treasured for no reason other than a De Beers ad campaign a half-century ago. This simplistic view holds that women have been manipulated into desiring diamonds by clever advertisers. In reality, the view may say more about the intelligence of the people who hold it, than the women that it speaks of.
Diamonds are old
Humanity has treasured diamonds since long before cartels and advertising. Monarchs have worn diamond-encrusted crowns and carried scepters dripping in diamonds, for millennia. According to Bellevue Rare Coins, a leading jeweler of Seattle, WA, Plato considered diamonds as the terrestrial homes of celestial spirits. The ancient Greeks saw these perfect gemstones as the tears of the gods and bits of stars fallen to earth. The Koh-i-Noor, one of the world’s most celebrated diamonds, was sought after by kings and queens. Diamonds find obsessive mention in some of the most enduring texts of the ancient world.
The love of diamonds widely held today, and the way it finds its way into romantic relationships, has not been created through marketing; a love so enduring simply couldn’t be created through a simple campaign. Just as with gold, humans simply find the significance of diamonds self-evident.
Diamonds have always belonged on engagement rings
Diamonds first found their way on rings in the 13 th century when the Pope Innocent III declared engagement periods mandatory. Back then, diamond engagement rings were the exclusive domain of royalty. Ordinary people could never dream of buying diamonds; it didn’t stop them from such aspirations, though.
Today, modern mining methods have put diamonds within the reach of more people than ever before. Women see in diamonds a deep, romantic connection to a distant, misty past of kings, queens and an ancient heritage, along a line that runs all the way to prehistory. When they receive a gift of a diamond from someone they love, they see a startlingly beautiful cultural universal at play. To them, it hardly seems fair that a gemstone that has inspired royalty since times immemorial should suddenly be denied to them. Diamonds, as far as they are concerned, will always be symbols of beauty and love.
Diamonds naturally belong in deep, loving relationships
Men often tend to pull back from considering diamond engagement rings or jewelry for the woman in their lives. Sometimes, they feel they shouldn’t have to buy into something everyone else is doing. At other times, they feel that diamonds simply aren’t worth their hype — wouldn’t a luxury Caribbean holiday for $5,000 be much better use of the money?
While the many popular arguments against diamonds do hold water to some extent, it’s important to understand that they question something deep and unanswerable. There is no real explanation for why women should love jewelry and should treasure it above everything else. It is instinctive and natural, perhaps even genetic. Diamonds, when brought into a relationship, make a statement like no other gift. They can be impossible for women to ignore. Their effect is simply too visceral. It can be hard for something so beautiful to not improve relationships.