Diamonds have "little intrinsic value," writes Tauriq Moosa in the Guardian, so when large South African diamond mines were discovered in the late 1800s and De Beers Consolidates Mines was formed, its investors realized they would need to conjure up demand. That they were incredibly successful with their marketing is no surprise (who hasn't heard the tagline, "A diamond is forever"?). And yet we've forgotten that it's just that—marketing. Here's the truth, per Moosa: a diamond has nothing to do with your relationship or its permanence.
Rather, it's a useless bauble, it's overpriced (it starts decreasing in value the second you buy it, and prices continue to rise), and it's "insulting to notions of actual love." One survey found that the average engagement ring costs $5,200, and almost 12% of American couples actually spend $8,000 or more. Wouldn't that money be better spent on something else? If you think an engagement ring is a symbol of your love, consider this: "Why can't a beautiful home be a symbol? Why can't long-term investments be a symbol? Indeed, would it not be more impressive to show off a house than a finger rock?" Click for Moosa's full column. (Read more diamond stories.)