Don’t buy ‘rare’ jewelry
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
Diamonds are one of the most coveted substances in the world. They’re expensive, beautiful, and a true status symbol. Nothing shows that you are attractive and privileged like wearing a rock.
Diamonds are also one of the biggest scams on the planet. Large corporations set up mines in the 1930s and convinced people that diamonds are valuable and rare. They’re not. Why do you think we have so many stores selling the damn things? They’re imported almost literally by the truckload from hard-working, international miners. Many diamonds are mined in war zones and unstable countries and are used to finance warfare and bloodshed. Although many ethical processes exist so that jewellers do not get involved with “blood diamonds,” the fallout and demand still contribute to actually ending people’s lives. The diamond industry is incredibly shallow and unethical at best, and immoral and life-ruining at worst.
It’s no secret diamonds cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. There’s a societal and social expectation that a person spend this kind of money to show their love. There are so many better things one could spend that money on that are still great gifts. Five-hundred dollars can buy a really nice TV, a trip somewhere, or a lot of high-end Sephora products.
Then there’s the really gross notion that the way to express love is through spending an amount of money equal to someone’s rent. You don’t prove your affection through spending hundreds on an entirely useless object that isn’t even rare. Diamonds are one of the hardest substances on Earth, but the commercially sold ones have almost no value or purpose outside of being molded into a fancy engagement ring.
If you must buy jewelry, there are lots of precious stones that look just as nice. They’re much cheaper, more colourful, and are often far more ethically sourced. And if all else fails, cubic zirconium looks just like a diamond, but it isn’t! Except for a few chemical differences and a much lower price tag, they’re literally the exact same.
The jewel industry makes a lot of people rich, hurts a lot more people, and helps almost no one. It’s just sales associates in suits on commission trying to convince you that you need a useless small rock harvested from a literal slave (or at least highly underpaid worker) in Africa to make your engagement a real thing. It’s only when consumers stop demanding these shallow useless products that the diamond industry will stop this ridiculous market.