Diamonds and the Search for Reality


Real Is Rare. Real Is a Diamond. So says the Diamond Producers Association (DPA). But how rare is a diamond? And how real is its significance?

Close-up of a couple's hands showing wedding rings with the caption: Real Is Rare, Real Is a Diamond.

At one time, diamonds were extremely scarce. That was until 1870, when huge deposits were discovered in South Africa. Foreseeing the impending depreciation of their investments, diamond mine financiers formed a monopoly, the De Beers Group. For over a century, De Beers bought up competition, fixed prices, and effectively manipulated public perception to reap profits otherwise impossible.

Today the influence of De Beers has waned, but the legacy of its business practices has ensured that diamonds are still overpriced and that consumers are still willing to pay. A Diamond Is Forever, the slogan introduced by De Beers in 1947, remains woven into the fabric of western culture and arguably the world.

Millennials, however, have shown signs of disinterest. Constrained by limited…

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2 thoughts on “Diamonds and the Search for Reality

  1. People are bombarded with tales from a young age that end ‘And they lived happily ever after.’ The poor girl or boy winning a prince or princess. Readers of the Romance genre are given the same endings. Disney is not beyond changing original endings to make it happy ever after. (I cite The Little Mermaid).
    So people are expecting this in their real lives and walk away at the first difficulty.
    Anyway, Diamonds are not for ever. A very long time, perhaps, in fact, many millennia, but they will eventually return to their less crystalline carbon state.

    Liked by 1 person

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