> Today, De Beers hold on the industry supply chain is less strong. And yet, price continue to rise as new deposits haven’t been found recently and demand for diamonds is increasing in India and China. For now, it’s less necessary that the company monopolize the supply chain because its lie that a diamond is a proxy for a man’s worth in life has infected the rest of the world.
So the monopoly is gone, prices are rising because of fixed supply in the face of increasing demand, but diamonds are still bullshit because their value is based on a consumer irrationality.
I hate to break it to the guy, but half of the consumer economy is built on irrationality (and half of silicon valley is built on advertising that irrationality to consumers). Pretty much every luxury good is purchased for signaling reasons. Paying more for a diamond with a particular clarity grade or color isn't any less irrational than paying more for a top-end BMW, even though you'll never take it over 60 because of all the traffic.
There are NOT noticeable differences between a $30k diamond and a $3k moissanite stone. A better analogy would be $100 "professional HDMI cable" and a $10 standard HDMI cable.
My wife and I felt the same way too, until we actually compared them. The sparkle and brilliance in the diamond was dramatically better than any other stone we compared it to. We went into ring shopping pretty determined to not get a diamond, and yet still bought one.
Lab diamonds aren't really cheaper than natural unless you are talking about pure shit quality or really tiny ones.
I think the biggest problem is that most people have not seen moissanite in person, and don't realize that it can compare very favorably (if not more so) to a diamond. Glad to say I've managed to sway a couple of my friends so far on that front ;) Here's some pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chix0r/sets/72157637715040063
Personally I think a synthetic diamond is better than a natural one, but IFLS.
Living people wearing jewelry are also an untapped resource of diamonds. /logic
I don't see peacocks wandering around saying "feathers are bullshit"
Subjective theory of value...etc.
The desire to control your partner that is displayed by many people in these diamond threads is a really unpleasant character flaw.
Isn't that a good reason to steer clear of anybody who insists on being bought diamonds?
Edit: Unless you like buying diamonds, or have so much money it doesn't matter.
It's not about "control", it's about human relationships and value.
In the end many people like birds like bright shiny objects. This just in, fads like beany baby's, bitcoins, and baseball cards are also a thing. http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html
PS: Land is still cheap: "The United States farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $2,900 per acre for 2013"
If you buy gold or land in a fair auction, you can flip it in a day or two for roughly the same price minus fees. You can't do that with a diamond ring.
Generally, if you’re moving in less than 5 years it's better to rent.
You can even hoard gold under your bed and buy gold coins and bullion (albeit at a ~10% premium to market rates). If you want to hoard gold jewelry however, there is typically a 100-400% retail markup so that’s probably not a wise investment.
Your comments on land are closer to accurate but neglect to point out the massive leverage common in such an investment. You can effectively buy a $200,000 asset with only putting $40,000 (or even less) down. If you get a 20% appreciation in the asset over a period of time you've doubled your money. You also get a tax deduction on the interest from the loan and rates are ridiculously low right now.
If the price goes down 20% over a period of time, you've wiped out your investment. Free leverage is neutral to expected value, and leverage with interest has a negative impact on expected value.
The real value in residential real estate is the fact that the US government is prepared to spend unlimited amounts of money to make sure you don't lose your shirt. Because something something yeoman farmers. However, that means there's also a unique risk to bear. Just as the goldbug needs a greater fool to want his shiny, so to the real estate owner needs a government in place that will continue to massively subsidize the individual ownership of residential real estate. The US government, today and for the last 7 years, has issued, bought, or guaranteed the lion's share of residential mortgages. Take that away and prices fall dramatically.
The loan interest has nothing to do with real estate. That's just what happens when you take a loan for anything.
Jewelry is nothing like real estate. If it was, you would see billion dollar hedge funds buying up all of the jewelry.
If there were a company whose sole purpose was reselling jewelry like this at a pretty big markdown from competitors, I wonder how sustainable/successful it would be, because I know I would support it.
Part of my thinking about this is just my desire to "stick it to the bad guys", but part of it really is a recognition that traditions aren't going to change over night, so we might as well try to save some people a little money.
Not sure about how to do the disruption on Earth but when we can start, effectively, mining asteroids? Well precious metals should be able to take a nose dive. Not sure how much diamonds exist in asteroids but I wouldn't be surprised if a company can effectively mine asteroids to disrupt all precious metal industries.
Which makes sense for the network effects, but seems far from perfect as there's no appraisal, setting choices, etc.
I found someone that a ring has no value for the proposition, my word sufficed. We did get wedding bands, but we ended up not wearing them. :D
My point is, why not give her something really meaningful instead, then?
I'm not sure about family rings. I don't really have any evidence regardless, just going off personal experience.
Proposed to her last Saturday with a shiny diamond ring, she's now my fiance, so I think it was worth it.
Furthermore: is't not just couple thousand dollars at stake. It's a hole in decision making that would result in permanent money leaks going forward.
A fraction of homo sapiens was convinced into an irrational addition to that ritual by being unaware of the psychological manipulation targeted directly at that mating ritual, and the omnipresent self-esteem trigger.
It's not coercion, it's an instinct corrupted by greed.
Then there are controlled-vapor-deposition synthetic diamonds, which are manufactured by a process which looks a lot like a small semiconductor wafer fab circa 1985. Those can only be distinguished from natural diamonds because they have some hydrogen and silicon inclusions detectable with a laser and microscope setup. The manufacturing process is kind of slow, but that's because it's low-volume. If Applied Materials, which makes semiconductor fab gear, reworked the diamond fab process, diamonds would probably be priced like RAM chips.
Jewelry from both processes is available.
As for synthetic diamond for abrasives, that's easy to make and available by the kilogram on Alibaba.
That reminds me, I need to make some replacements. (We had a bunch, but they aren't very durable.)
As for the comments, pretty much nothing anyone says will convince someone that something is stupid once they have done it. Even if you do convince them you will only make them feel bad - so try to be nice.
Every time I think of this, this plays out in my head: "Sorry sweetie, I love you but hate diamonds more. I'm not going to buy you a sweet ring to show off to all your friends. Will you marry me anyway?"
I since went back on that thought and clarified that those genuine diamonds grown in a factory were pretty cool.
Fucking stupid right? I thought the same thing, but I was ultra-frugal and had a hard time thinking of better things to spend my money on than making my wife happy, especially with how often I was gone (which was a lot).
I justified it to myself a few ways. First, by how much her eyes lit up when she first saw it. Second, we decided not to have a wedding because of how silly it was: pay tens of thousands for a few hours, not to mention the hassle in planning it. Third, this thing would make her smile every day for the next ~80 years. Lastly it wouldn't cause undue financial strain. I wasn't rich, but I was ultra frugal and had a comfortable amount in savings. For example I still have the same car (a now 10yr old Honda Civic) I had then. I also bought her a little ring cleaner so it always looks great because every time I see an $80,000+ car that's dirty I think, "What's the point?"
We've been married around 7 years now. Every time she looks at it it makes her smile. Everytime she looks at it she thinks of us and what we have. She still gets compliments on it all the time. How much is all that worth? How much will it all have been worth when we're in our 80's? There aren't too many ways to buy happiness, but if you could see how happy it makes her you'd see that this is one.
The interesting thing is that my wife isn't into jewelry or expensive stuff. She also has an old Honda Civic, still has the same clothes she wore in college, etc. She doesn't care about that kind of stuff and hated shopping until she was in her mid-30's and work required a change of attire. But our marriage is important to her and a wedding ring represents that for her.
If I could afford it, I would have easily paid 2-3x what I paid for the ring because it's worth it. I agree, it's stupid and it's just a rock, but it wasn't for me--it was for her and it means a lot to her. Every time I see her look at it, smile, then look at me (which she still does 7 years later) I think of how it was worth every penny.
You can buy a lot of mediocre stuff and have a lot of mediocre experiences with your wife, or you can go above and beyond with one thing that will last forever. If I bought her a $2,000 ring instead I could spend $500,000 in clothes, purses, shoes, etc. for her over 10 years and none of it would make her as happy as this thing does. It's the only thing that she always wears.
What kind of ring did I get you ask? I got a ~$25 ring from Walmart.