For many Westerners, a diamond engagement ring is the go-to item for when you decide to pop the question. However, due to years of ad campaigns, the public believes a massive amount of misinformation about these sparkly stones. So let’s shatter a few of those beliefs, shall we?
Given how almost 80 percent of couples in the United States today propose with a diamond ring, you would think that this is an old tradition. After all, it seems like we have been doing it forever. In actuality, while the giving of a ring is an old tradition going back to at least the Romans, diamonds are another story.
Around 1900, almost no one proposed using diamond rings. It wasn’t until the DeBeers mining cartel was formed that diamonds came into play. In what was arguably one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time, they connected diamonds with the purity of marriage. In their own words, “We are dealing with a problem in mass psychology. We seek to [ . . . ] strengthen the tradition of the diamond engagement ring—to make it a psychological necessity capable of competing successfully at the retail level with utility goods and services.” They even created a “Diamond Information Center” that promoted diamonds by making up articles about the history of diamonds. And you thought fake news was a new thing.
It was so successful that within three months, sales of diamonds had risen by 50 percent. Oh yeah, that idea that you should spend several months’ worth of your salary on an engagement ring? Another DeBeers creation.
9. Last Forever?
“Diamonds are forever” is probably a saying that is ingrained in most people’s brains. This is actually a marketing ploy from DeBeers to get more people to buy diamonds. The truth is a bit more depressing.
While it is true that diamonds are one of the hardest things in the world, that hardness comes at a price. Diamonds are actually rather brittle. Strike them at the right way and at the right strength, and they will split or chip. So just don’t be a butterfingers at your proposal, or you might have a very expensive mistake.