Starting to work through a few of my prompt jar topics, and last night I pulled this one out for consideration (after putting about 5 back in hehe).
I remember writing this one down, the night I wrote that note for my future man, if you’re just arriving to the game, you can check it out here. It’s one of my most favourite posts, and it got a lot of feedback so I’m glad that I have the chance now to focus in one of the points that I put down there: I don’t wear diamonds.
Yes, you read that correctly:
Now the reasoning for this is kind of simple, but then kind of complex. So hang in tight for the explanation, it might get a little side tracked along the way, but who are we kidding? A lot of my posts usually end up that way!
I have always been drawn towards shiny things, and diamonds have been no exception. I think I get that from my mama. She loves jewellery. But I am also a very particular person. I don’t wear yellow gold, only white. And now my tastes have expanded to take diamonds off the list as well.
I first started taking notice of the diamond trade when I was in my last year of high school. A few of my older friends were getting married, and I was getting sucked right into the excitement with them. I would spend hours looking at websites online, and sometimes would spend a little time even creating my own ring on the sites. But all the rings that I would create, and even the pre-made ones, were always soooo expensive! I didn’t understand it.
Jump forward a year or so, and in my political science classes, I focused a lot of my energy on Asia and Africa. Of course, the diamond trade is HUGE in Africa. So I did a little bit of research around that, and it was the topic of study for a week or two in my classes. I started branching out and looking at other diamond sources, and I was shocked that a Canadian diamond is sometimes up to THREE TIMES the price of non-Canadian diamonds. THREE TIMES! How ridiculous! No one even dies for Canadian diamonds!
Then of course, the movie Blood Diamond comes out, and the entire world is faced with Leo fighting against the diamond trade, and now of course the issue becomes “sexy” (in my politics classes, something was “sexy” if it caught the world’s attention….like AIDS is a “sexy” disease, everyone talks about it, everyone fights for research etc. Malaria, not a “sexy” disease). Leo didn’t drown in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean just for us to ignore him over diamonds! Even with all the regulations around diamonds, you can’t guarantee that it’s not a conflict diamond unless you know that it’s been mined in a specific place. Like I know all Canadian diamonds are not conflict diamonds.
So then I started thinking about other forms of stones in rings. A friend of mine at the time said she wanted a pearl engagement ring, which right now I’m all over that idea! But I heard that pearls are really fragile in a ring setting and it requires a lot of upkeep. I tend to smash my hand off of surfaces, being left handed has a few draw backs. A few other friends have gone the non-diamond route, sporting aquamarine or sapphires as their main gem stone instead.
When I moved to Korea the first time 5 years ago, I was at a shopping mall in Suwon, and fell in love with Swarovski crystals. They sparkle just like diamonds, they look just like diamonds, and they are like a fraction of the cost. Right now, if anyone is thinking of buying me an engagement ring (Hey has Ralph Fiennes found this blog yet?!) then send them to Swarovski. The thing that I love about these crystals are that they are handmade. It’s all cut glass so it’s not as expensive or whatever, but someone actually crafted it! And I can guarantee that no one got their hand chopped off in the process.
Buying diamond engagement rings wasn’t even popular until the 20th century, something like the 1930s? Not sure on the exact date, but that’s when they became popular. That’s when there was this huge demand on diamonds and the prices skyrocketed! Quite frankly, I think that it’s pretty ridiculous that men have to put 3 months’ salary towards getting an engagement ring. Who thinks up this nonsense?! I don’t get this whole “let me show you how much money I can spend on this” that everyone is all concerned about, and then spend even MORE money on the wedding.
Last year, I went onto this one website and built two different rings. Both 14 carat white gold, the exact same design. The only difference was that for one, I used all diamonds and for the other I used all Swarovski crystals. The diamond one: $1,600. Swarovski: $500. Should this really be such a hard choice?! And they looked the EXACT SAME when I was finished making them. I guess the internet page could have just made them look the same but whatever. It’s still ridiculous.
Ok, so there ya have it. My very long rant on why I don’t wear diamonds. I make exception for the one ring that I have from my parents. It’s a topaz tear drop stone, with “crushed diamonds” on the side. Aka: there is nothing there, it kinda maybe looks like there might be a small speck on one side, but it’s a pretty lame speck. But it’s yellow gold so I never wear it. The stone is a little loose in the setting, so when I actually decide to get it fixed, I’ll have the jeweller dip the ring to make it white gold. But other than that – no thank you, give those rocks to someone else.
To end my post, compare these two pictures. The picture and prices are supplied by http://www.jewlr.com where you can design your own rings.
Ok: Ring 1: 14K white gold, all Swarovski crystals: $519.
Ring 2: 14 K white gold, only being able to change the outside row of gems to diamonds, it already doubles in price to $1000! Can you imagine if I was able to change all of the gems? and the big one in the middle?!
Ok….rant over 🙂