Does the the price tag of a diamond prove how much you love someone? In this clip from Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Sut Jhally explains how “rare” diamonds are falsely marketed to the rich and poor.
Americans exchange diamond rings as part of the engagement process, because in 1938 De Beers decided that they would like us to. Prior to a stunningly successful marketing campaign in 1938, Americans occasionally exchanged engagement rings, but it wasn’t a pervasive occurrence. Not only is the demand for diamonds a marketing invention, but diamonds aren’t actually that rare. Only by carefully restricting the supply has De Beers kept the price of diamonds high.
Countless American dudes will attest that the societal obligation to procure an engagement ring is both stressful and needlessly expensive. But here’s the thing – this obligation only exists because the company that stands to profit from it willed it into existence.
The reason you haven’t felt it is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons. – Don Draper, Diamonds Are Bullshit