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DeBeers Lawsuit
January 24, 2008 10:25 AM   Subscribe

DeBeers to pay out $295 million in a class action lawsuit for price fixing. If you purchaced any diamond between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006, here's how to get your cut.
posted by jpdoane (92 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
The amount each person will receive in the settlement is based on how many claims are filed, so lets keep this between us, shall we?
posted by jpdoane at 10:26 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Useful post, but this thread is going to go about as well as diamond threads usually do. (e.g. Not.)
posted by Plutor at 10:34 AM on January 24, 2008


I hope it fucking cripples them, the greedy scumbags.
posted by chuckdarwin at 10:35 AM on January 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


If you buy a diamond, you're making a tacit deal: I accept being ripped off by a diamond cartel because it's worth it to me to put a big shiny rock on someone's finger. Yes, they're a cartel, but everyone knows (or ought to know) that. Isn't this just another version of suing McDonald's for being fat? Don't like the product or the price, don't shop there.
posted by Dasein at 10:38 AM on January 24, 2008


All persons located in the United States who purchased any diamond or diamond jewelry or other products containing gem diamonds for personal use and not for resale between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:39 AM on January 24, 2008


See?
posted by Plutor at 10:41 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like the FAQ

How do I know if I am located in the United States?
posted by Nick Verstayne at 10:42 AM on January 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


With sales revenue at more than $6 Billion, I don't think this will cripple them.
posted by demiurge at 10:43 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The amount each person will receive in the settlement is based on how many claims are filed, so lets keep this between us, shall we?

Exactly. Seeing as how I already filed my claim, let's just delete this please.

posted by Big_B at 10:44 AM on January 24, 2008


How do I know if I am located in the United States?

To be fair, many of our residents can barely locate a nutrition label, let alone their own state on a map.
posted by Mikey-San at 10:44 AM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I too put all the blame on consumers for DeBeers foul behavior. /sarcasm

Let's boil it down, Dasein: "Did you buy a diamond in the last 14 years? YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT."
posted by Brocktoon at 10:45 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hope it fucking cripples them, the greedy scumbags.

$295 million is likely petty cash for DeBeers. They'll at most have to raise prices in the snack machine in the hall.

And honestly, if you purchased a diamond from DeBeers there's no monetary amount out there that will truly cover the "wasted expense" of getting it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:46 AM on January 24, 2008


I *knew* I was going to regret going with the groovy bloodfree canadian diamond. Now it cost more twice!
posted by freebird at 10:46 AM on January 24, 2008


I *knew* I was going to regret going with the groovy bloodfree canadian diamond. Now it cost more twice!

If you're in the US it doesn't matter. The claim is that DeBeers fixed prices, affecting the whole market across the board, whether or not your's is a DeBeers diamond.
posted by jpdoane at 10:50 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dasein writes " If you buy a diamond, you're making a tacit deal: I accept being ripped off by a diamond cartel because it's worth it to me to put a big shiny rock on someone's finger. Yes, they're a cartel, but everyone knows (or ought to know) that. Isn't this just another version of suing McDonald's for being fat? Don't like the product or the price, don't shop there."

Most people are not aware of the problems with the diamond industry. There has been a lot of controversy and media coverage in the last decade or two, but for most people this just isn't on their radar. Whether people should or shouldn't know that is immaterial to the fact that they were found to be in violation of fair trade laws.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good! I had to buy a diamond for my wife's engagement ring (despite giving her the full history of how awful DeBeers is), so it'll be nice to see some of that money back.

I'm sure it doesn't hurt the scumbags one bit either.
posted by inthe80s at 10:52 AM on January 24, 2008


If you buy a diamond, you're making a tacit deal: I accept being ripped off by a diamond cartel because it's worth it to me to put a big shiny rock on someone's finger. Yes, they're a cartel, but everyone knows (or ought to know) that. Isn't this just another version of suing McDonald's for being fat? Don't like the product or the price, don't shop there.

Whenever I hear people complain about America being a "nanny" state I think about exactly why there's such a bustling industry in those little plastic tabs you use to prevent children from sticking their fingers in an electrical socket.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:54 AM on January 24, 2008


I seem to recall that if any member of the DeBeers family enters the United States, they can be arrested and tried for running an illegal monopoly? (Do I have that correct?) Does this lawsuit and payout absolve them of all existing charges?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:57 AM on January 24, 2008


Obligatory Diamond Empire Video link.
posted by cashman at 10:59 AM on January 24, 2008


Obligatory Neil Diamond "America" link.
posted by item at 11:02 AM on January 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


Step 1: Create artificial demand for a product and inflate the price dramatically
Step 2: Collude to inflate the price dramatically, profit astronomically
Step 3: Pay a tiny percentage of the profits you've made as a payout for a class-action lawsuit
Step 4: Laugh your way to the top of a pile of corpses with billions of dollars in your pockets

I'm in the wrong business.
posted by baphomet at 11:06 AM on January 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Like any class action group we'll be getting $1-$5 and the lawyers will be getting the majority of the settlement. Having said that, er, hurrah, I guess? WooO!
posted by cavalier at 11:07 AM on January 24, 2008


Mikey-San: To be fair, many of our residents can barely locate a nutrition label, let alone their own state on a map.
My state banned the use of nutrition labels on maps.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:09 AM on January 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obligatory King Diamond video.
posted by jbickers at 11:09 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love how apologists always jump from "there's no problem" directly to "everyone knows there's a problem, so it's their own fault for participating". At what point is it OK to blame evil actors for being evil?
posted by DU at 11:12 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


At what point is it OK to blame evil actors for being evil?

As soon as the Republicans are out of office.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:14 AM on January 24, 2008


I should clarify: while I think it's fine for the government to prosecute for anti-competitive behaviour, because it has to keep the markets honest, and while I can see the legal justification for this lawsuit, in principle it seems silly to me to sue for a product that is sold by what is well-established to be a cartel, and which is the definition of a luxury good - there is absolutely no need for you to waste your money on diamonds, so how the hell can you sue when it turns out that it was a really big waste of money?
posted by Dasein at 11:15 AM on January 24, 2008


Like any class action group we'll be getting $1-$5 and the lawyers will be getting the majority of the settlement. Having said that, er, hurrah, I guess? WooO!

Actually, if the amount would be less than $10, you won't get squat. Or rather, you'll get squat. Shit, how does this squat noun work, jack?
posted by cashman at 11:15 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


At what point is it OK to blame evil actors for being evil?

I'm not letting the diamond companies off the hook, I'm just saying don't act like they owe you something for you buying their product.
posted by Dasein at 11:16 AM on January 24, 2008


It is good to be a lawyer, at least in this case:
35. How will Class Counsel be paid? (top)

You do not have to pay Class Counsel. They will ask the Court to approve the payment of their fees and reimburse their expenses in these lawsuits. Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees in an amount no greater than 25% of the Settlement Fund. Class Counsel will also ask the court for a payment to each of the named plaintiffs based on their contributions to the litigation. The amounts that the Court approves will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.
So, 25% of $295,000,000 is about $73,750,000. Sweet! Can I join the law firm instead of the settlement class?
posted by procrastination at 11:16 AM on January 24, 2008


Sure, if you accept claims via mefimail.
posted by cashman at 11:20 AM on January 24, 2008


I'm getting my future wife a massive, beautiful cubic zirconia. If she gets all greedy and goes to get it appraised and finds out it's not a real diamond and is sad, well that's its own punishment.
posted by mullingitover at 11:22 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Let's boil it down, Dasein: "Did you buy a diamond in the last 14 years? YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT."

"Did you take up smoking in the last 14 years? YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT."
posted by uncleozzy at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2008


"If you pay protection money to the mafia, you're making a tacit deal: I accept not having my legs broken because it's worth it to me to keep my business open with a smaller profit margin. Yes, they're a group of thugs, but everyone knows (or ought to know) that. Isn't this just another version of suing McDonald's for being fat? Don't like the possibility of paying protection money, don't open up a business in a neighborhood where the mafia operates.

After being flamed by other commenters...

"I should clarify: while I think it's fine for the government to arrest mafia members for racketeering, because it has to keep the markets honest, and while I can see the legal justification for suing the mafia for restitution, in principle it seems silly to me to sue over a common practice by a well-established cartel, and over the luxury of operating a business - there is absolutely no need for you to run your own business, so how the hell can you sue when it turns out that you lost more money in the business that you thought you would?"

Slightly unfair to Dasein, but I couldn't resist the snark.
posted by saslett at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I prefer to blame all those women who, knowing full well how evil the diamond industry is, still demand a rock because...because...that's how you show your love.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:49 AM on January 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I prefer to blame all those women who, knowing full well how evil the diamond industry is, still demand a rock because...because...that's how you show your love.

I prefer to blame all those men who, knowing full well how evil the diamond industry is, still marry women demanding a rock because...because...that's how you show your love.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:01 PM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Best ever article on the history of the diamond trade, wherein all is explained : Have You Ever Tried To Sell A Diamond? (from The Atlantic)

Read the whole thing. It's fascinating.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:06 PM on January 24, 2008 [10 favorites]


Also, an excellent article from Wired on why the shitheads at DeBeers will someday be irrelevant : The New Diamond Age
posted by Afroblanco at 12:08 PM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Best ever article on the history of the diamond trade, wherein all is explained : Have You Ever Tried To Sell A Diamond? (from The Atlantic)

You can read the author's whole book (I believe the article was an excerpt) for free on the author's website.
posted by Staggering Jack at 12:11 PM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks Afroblanco, I was about to post a rhetorical question asking why synthetics hadn't yet eradicated this market. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait (for my diamond martini glasses)!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:18 PM on January 24, 2008


Remember all those ads? "Waste 2 months salary on our product or you're a cheap-ass cad."
posted by telstar at 12:33 PM on January 24, 2008


I don't know about anyone else, but I wanted a diamond engagement ring when I was a little girl. Not because OMG TRADITION or OMG PRETTY, but because of Superman.

There's a comic I read back then, I can't remember which one (all I remember was that it was old) in which Superman falls into a forest and ends up under the care of some old guy who had been blinded by cataracts. As a gift for nursing him back to health, Superman takes two lumps of coal and squeezes them until they become diamonds, upon which time he focuses his heat vision into them to perform on-the-spot cataract surgery on the old guy.

To me, diamonds weren't nice because they're pretty--I can get Moissanite or CZ or something for that--but because they're a gift from Superman.
posted by Verdandi at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2008 [7 favorites]


If you buy a diamond, you're making a tacit deal: I accept being ripped off by a diamond cartel because it's worth it to me to put a big shiny rock on someone's finger.

Actually, I got a diamond ring for my girlfriend-of-ten-years because she was sick of getting hit on due to a lack of public signifier that she's not available. It may not be right, but nothing says, "Back off buddy, she's taken," like a band of gold with a stone in it. She doesn't even like gold or diamonds, but the constant fending-off was driving her to distraction. he tells me that it's worked like a charm so far, so I'm pretty happy with my purchase. I don't like getting ripped-off by the cartels, but my motivation (and hers) wasn't keeping u with the Jonses or some weird gem fetish; it was purely practical. And it made her happy. Double-win.
posted by lekvar at 12:46 PM on January 24, 2008


You do realize that, under most circumstances, some random dude is likely to mistake a non-diamond stone (rock candy, for example) for actual diamond, right?
posted by uncleozzy at 12:52 PM on January 24, 2008


You do realize that, under most circumstances, some random dude is likely to mistake a non-diamond stone (rock candy, for example) for actual diamond, right?

Yeah that almost seemed like the perfect situation where you would buy a synthetic, especially if she "doesn't like gold or diamonds.." Did you leave something out?
posted by vacapinta at 1:02 PM on January 24, 2008


Ah DeBeers, the windmill against which I tilt at every opportunity. I know that them having to pay out is a good thing, but knowing how much they take in in revenue makes this victory taste kind of ashy.

My great hope is that someone will give them an Inconvenient Truth kind of treatment and do a really powerful documentary that will actually be watched by people. I think that a lot of buyers are only peripherally aware about how evil this industry is. And they think that it's other people's diamonds, not my wedding ring. The "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" brainwashing is powerful, indeed.

It's just profoundly frustrating that people still spend so much money, on a shiny bauble that is actually not worth that much in terms of value, yet has cost a fortune in blood and pain.
posted by quin at 1:06 PM on January 24, 2008


I can't wait for the iDiamond to come out and watching as the haters fall all over yourselves trying to buy one.
posted by Stynxno at 1:16 PM on January 24, 2008


No Diamond, No My Man!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:24 PM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obligatory Two-Headed Unicorn
posted by aftermarketradio at 1:26 PM on January 24, 2008


Did you leave something out?

Not really. A cheap bauble is a pretty tacky ten-year anniversary present though.
posted by lekvar at 1:31 PM on January 24, 2008


Remember all those ads? "Waste 2 months salary on our product or you're a cheap-ass cad."

One of the most outrageous and infuriating marketing campaigns ever. That's about when I decided never to buy a diamond. Two month's salary?!? I'd rather just give my fiancee the money.
posted by stargell at 1:46 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


"because she was sick of getting hit on due to a lack of public signifier that she's not available"

Passive aggressive much? How much energy does it take to fend off an unwanted advance? Oh, the humanity! That's a pretty f-ed up excuse to buy a diamond. Especially, because, you know, a regular ol' band says the same thing. And then you don't look like a douche---bonus.
posted by hulahulagirl at 2:05 PM on January 24, 2008


Wow, hulahulagirl, I didn't know that you were so familiar with my life that you'd be able to so accurately describe me! The constant unwanted advances were making her miserable, and plain bands didn't work. But, you know, getting to be a douche for buying her a blood-free diamond, well, that is priceless. Thank you for caring so deeply.
posted by lekvar at 2:14 PM on January 24, 2008


My smugness for not buying my wife a diamond ring has been so devalued.
posted by ldenneau at 2:49 PM on January 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


A cheap bauble is a pretty tacky ten-year anniversary present though.
posted by lekvar at 1:31 PM


Trust me, just because it's not a diamond doesn't mean it's necessarily cheap or tacky. Especially not cheap. And my non-diamond ring (it's a chrome tourmaline) does a GREAT job of fending off the otherwise-clueless guys.
posted by fiercecupcake at 3:07 PM on January 24, 2008


I seriously do not believe that there are people who need jewelry to fend off unwanted suitors. And I don't mean I don't believe it as in 'I'm shocked', I mean I don't believe it as in 'this doesn't really happen and it's a silly excuse and/or delusion for people who are embarrassed by their desire for jewelry.' Some people seem to be living inside a bad Cosmo article. Or Modern Bride, maybe.

As for me, I am sure my diamond is as bloody as any, but it belonged to my husband's grandmother. I think it would be difficult to make amends at this point, and I'm not getting any money from this class action, either. And it certainly hasn't made any difference in how much I get hit on. Maybe it's too small?
posted by cilantro at 3:19 PM on January 24, 2008


The Century of the Self illustrates how the godfather of PR Edward Bernays (Sigmund Freud's nephew) was behind the campaign to get starlets to wear diamonds to influence the public. It's about as depressing as it gets.
posted by any major dude at 3:25 PM on January 24, 2008


"because she was sick of getting hit on due to a lack of public signifier that she's not available"

You might be dating the smartest girl in the world. She's one chromosome away from freakin' Einstein.

You should buy her a prize.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 3:38 PM on January 24, 2008


I seriously do not believe that there are people who need jewelry to fend off unwanted suitors.

There have been a MetaTalk thread or two concerning women receiving unwanted attention from men. You might have noticed them? You can believe it or not, that's your choice.
posted by lekvar at 3:43 PM on January 24, 2008


Or you could assume that either I'm lying or she is, but I think that says more about you than it does me.
posted by lekvar at 3:48 PM on January 24, 2008


Tacos, do we really need to start making attacks on the internet about somebody's real-life girlfriend of over ten years
posted by craven_morhead at 3:50 PM on January 24, 2008


I wasn't attacking her.

Nearly all girls want a diamond at some level. She got one, got him to buy it, and did so with a brilliant justification that avoided all sorts of possible hang-ups. It was a seriously well-played hand.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:05 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying women don't get unwanted attention, I'm just saying that a ring, diamond or otherwise, isn't going to make a difference. The vast majority of men aren't jerks and they aren't walking around making women miserable by constantly hitting on them in inappropriate places like work or on the sidewalk or in line at Starbucks. Most men, like most women, are too busy being normal and shy and self-conscious for all that. There are some jerks who don't know how to behave, but not enough to make a MAGIC MAN-REPELLING DIAMOND RING necessary for anyone. Jerks wouldn't be put off by a ring, anyway. Maybe your girlfriend just likes expensive sparkley diamond jewelry but doesn't want to admit it? Otherwise you would have bought her (or she would have bought herself) a 5 dollar rhinestone knockoff at Claire's in the mall. Or maybe not. I'm sure you know better than I do, it just seems a bit excuse-y to me.
Also, what Tacos said.
posted by cilantro at 4:08 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


cilantro: exactly. A few of the better-mannered fellows are likely put off by my wife's ring. But to be perfectly frank, I've seen my wife get hit on while wearing her ring, and I've been hit on while wearing mine.

I know that some people respect them, but there seems to be another contingent who sees it as a guarantee that it won't ever progress past pure sex into the messy realm of emotion.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:22 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


A few of the better-mannered fellows are likely put off by my wife's ring.

And that, right there, is exactly my point. Yes, there are the guys who simply don't care, but they are easily dissuaded with a swift kick to the groin. But assuming that that sort makes up 10% of the attention she receives, the ring reduces the overall number of propositions by 90%.
posted by lekvar at 4:28 PM on January 24, 2008


Aren't there people working on synthetic diamonds that can't be (or can't be easily enough) distinguished from real ones? I wonder if, once streamlined, the magic diamond-making machine would be branded a weapon of mass destruction--or would it not be so devastating, really?
posted by troybob at 5:06 PM on January 24, 2008


The best rings can't be bought. My mother has a ring that my father hand filed down from a single nut...took him months. It looks very similar to this. My mom said he would go out into the shed every night and work on something that he wouldn't tell her about. The ring is actually beautiful and looks like it was professionally made. He poured his heart and soul into it. That's the kind of engagement ring I would want. I think for their next anniversary, I'm going to get the ring plated in white gold.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:23 PM on January 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


cilantro and Tacos Are Pretty Great.
posted by pmbuko at 5:40 PM on January 24, 2008


Well, I'll say that, in all my years of lurking, this is the one metafilter topic that is actually likely to add to my bottom line.

Yes, I realize (and realized before I did it) that buying a diamond to put on my wife's engagement ring was putting cash in the pocket of a cartel. Um. She's the woman I married. I would have paid that money for a popsicle stick, if it made clear to everyone that she is engaged to someone who really cares about her more than anything. It's not about the fending, its a declaration of intent. There's some few things in life you shouldn't stint on, regardless.

I'll say, if you spent more on your last gaming system (yes, including all the cartridges) than you did on an engagement ring, what does that convey?

I want also to ratify that thingy about cilantro and tacos. Fish tacos, especially.
posted by newdaddy at 6:37 PM on January 24, 2008


I would have paid that money for a popsicle stick, if it made clear to everyone that she is engaged to someone who really cares about her more than anything.

So according to you, the amount you really care for someone is judged by the size of a rock you can put on someone's finger? So are you saying that the people seeing your wife's ring would turn around and think that another women's husband just doesn't love her because he bought her a plain band?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:46 PM on January 24, 2008


No - noone really knows what any given stone is worth, and a lotta people are wearing fakes anyway. Big deal. But for my own private conscience, I actually invested in something that is commensurate with my income level and representative of my feelings. I never showed my wife the receipt. But I feel that my actual priorities are in line with my declared priorities here.

It's a significant amount of savings relative to my own income. She's hands-down the best thing that ever happened to me. l didn't tell her how much she means to me and then lowball a ring or the honeymoon or the rest of what comes after. Guys who snag some great girl and then leave them alone while they go to Atlantic City for the weekend (or the equivalent) do annoy me.
posted by newdaddy at 6:57 PM on January 24, 2008


Guys who snag some great girl and then leave them alone while they go to Atlantic City for the weekend (or the equivalent) do annoy me.

Is this a common thing? I have a friend who's finance does this. He even has an apartment up there (we are in central Virginia)...I think it all sounds fishy. I didn't know this was a common practice.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:01 PM on January 24, 2008


And what about those who died digging for De Beers?
posted by zouhair at 7:13 PM on January 24, 2008


If you buy a diamond, you're making a tacit deal: I accept being ripped off by a diamond cartel because it's worth it to me to put a big shiny rock on someone's finger.

While I'm at it, let me say that the percentage of people who truly have the freedom to live all of their stated convictions and avoid exploitation from any of the corporations who are busily manipulating American consumers is close to nil. Driven a car lately? Discarded a lithium battery? Used a credit card for anything? Bought some chicken or pork that's not free-range, macrobiotic, etc? Paid your broadband bill? The degree to which any of those actions compromises your ideals is a matter of your own conscience and self-honesty, but a lot of us are forced to cut some corners just to connect all the dots and get through the average day. The ring is a one-time expense and it's understood by most people that they're buying a token rather than something of real value.
posted by newdaddy at 7:14 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gonna be interesting to try to find my pawn ship receipt from 1999. Sigh.
posted by crapmatic at 7:22 PM on January 24, 2008


Gonna be interesting to try to find my pawn ship receipt from 1999.

You don't need it unless you paid more than $10,000.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 8:33 PM on January 24, 2008


It is Debeers Group not family
posted by hortense at 8:42 PM on January 24, 2008


... aaaand the diamond thread gives as well as it gets.
posted by eritain at 9:51 PM on January 24, 2008


There's some few things in life you shouldn't stint on, regardless. I'll say, if you spent more on your last gaming system (yes, including all the cartridges) than you did on an engagement ring, what does that convey?

A lot of the public buys into the whole DeBeers 'two month salary' schtick, so it is good that at least one representative of this public is posting here. I say, if she means that much to you, then buy her a car, or a house, and a ring with some beautiful, unusual stone. In my mind I hear you saying "there's some few things in life you shouldn't stint on, regardless, like giving lots of money to a brutal cartel in exchange for a highly overpriced adornment."
posted by eye of newt at 10:07 PM on January 24, 2008


Hmm.. There's something about using diamond simulants, whether synthetic diamond or some other substance that has a similar appearance that strikes me as just as bad as the real thing.

After all, don't simulants do just as much to drive the demand for diamonds as the real thing? Or am I just being picky?
posted by wierdo at 10:09 PM on January 24, 2008


So I was watching the video, and for the first time in my life, I found diamonds pretty.

They are pretty, and shiny and sparkly. But only when they are in groups, like in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc.

But rings? Never as pretty - the stones alone just look like glass, and don't have the brillance that they do in groups. And big stones (anything over 1-2 carats) are just awful - they look like you took a piece of rock salt and glued it to your hand. But then again, most rings with stones don't look good. Rings that are bands are pretty, but as soon as you have anything sticking out of them, they just look odd, and the farther out it sticks, the odder they look.

So for aesthetics sake, we must end this tasteless diamond ring fascination.
posted by jb at 11:17 PM on January 24, 2008


Hey - that article on the "New Diamond Age" talks about diamond microprocessors. Ooh! This is exciting.

The idea of diamonds growing like plants, like crystals even! is an aesthetically pleasing one to me. But I wonder what the energy costs are?
posted by jb at 11:24 PM on January 24, 2008


In my mind I hear you saying "there's some few things in life you shouldn't stint on, regardless, like giving lots of money to a brutal cartel in exchange for a highly overpriced adornment."

Agreed.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 11:30 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Getting bak to, you know, the topic of the thread, What are the returns like on diamonds? 10k gives what? 20k ives what? etc? Is this summarized anywhere? (Not in the links shown)
posted by lalochezia at 12:38 AM on January 25, 2008


Hmm.. There's something about using diamond simulants, whether synthetic diamond or some other substance that has a similar appearance that strikes me as just as bad as the real thing.

After all, don't simulants do just as much to drive the demand for diamonds as the real thing? Or am I just being picky?


It's a point that has been made about fur and imitation fur - does the wearing of something that looks like the result of an arguably cruel practice in some way support or condone the "real thing"? It's a complex scenario, and I'm undecided but avoiding simalcra is not unreasonable.
posted by outlier at 1:27 AM on January 25, 2008


greedy scumbags
posted by dzinga2 at 6:20 AM on January 25, 2008


What are the returns like on diamonds? 10k gives what? 20k ives what? etc? Is this summarized anywhere? (Not in the links shown)


It depends on how many claims are filed. Look here (Appendix B) to see the details on how they plan to divy up $135million allocated for consumer claims.
posted by jpdoane at 7:43 AM on January 25, 2008


above link is PDF
posted by jpdoane at 7:44 AM on January 25, 2008


In '94 when I bought my now-wife an engagement ring, I didn't know a damn thing about blood diamonds. Thing cost me $250, which wasn't bad; I couldn't afford anything bigger than .25 carat, but she's been happy with it. At the time it retailed for $750 and I wondered why they were able to mark it down so drastically. Now I know.

As our 10-year anniversary approaches, we both want to replace the diamond with something a bit nicer. Neither of us are interested in anything other than a lab-created stone. My cousin's wedding ring was lab-created, and it's a damn nice diamond. We're happy that we've learned to be more careful in our purchasing decisions over the years, but that original rock... well, how conscious of the global implications of a diamond purchase do you think a 20-year old guy from a small town is going to be? Don't be angry with the people who bought diamonds, be angry at the company that spent so much time and energy hiding how awful their business practices were in the first place.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:57 AM on January 25, 2008


outlier: I find myself more likely to err on the side of caution when it comes to diamonds, as they cost actual human lives and human suffering, rather than needless killing of animals.

Don't get me wrong, I feel for the wholesale elimination of some species for their fur, especially when there's no real need for it, but it makes far less of a difference to me than the suffering of a person, who sadly is more rarely spoken for.
posted by wierdo at 11:43 AM on January 25, 2008


I have read and enjoyed the Atlantic article before, but in looking at it again it does make me wonder. It concludes with this.

By the mid-1980s, the avalanche of Australian diamonds will be pouring onto the market. Unless the resourceful managers of De Beers can find a way to gain control of the various sources of diamonds that will soon crowd the market, these sources may bring about the final collapse of world diamond prices.

Okay, tis a wee past the mid-80s. So what actually happened to this prediction? I suppose you could argue it did somewhat come about, given the availability of diamonds today though discount outlets like Costco, but clearly some of that artificial scarcity continues. How?
posted by phearlez at 2:16 PM on January 25, 2008


I don't know about Austrian diamonds, but I have heard that when the Russian diamonds, which were mostly small diamonds, began coming onto the market, De Beers began ad campaigns to promote anniversary rings, etc, with a multitude of small diamonds. So in that case, they responded to an increase in supply by trying to increase demand.

To be honest, I've never really considered diamond jewelry overpriced, because there is a lot of workmanship in the cutting and setting. But perhaps too much of the profit has been funnelled to the diamond cartel, and not enough to the people who do the art of making a beautiful piece of jewelry.
posted by jb at 2:48 PM on January 26, 2008


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