You may think of the engagement ring like as a timeless symbol of love but as it turns out, this is “ancient” tradition was invented less than a century ago by the De Beers diamond corporation.
Here’s the story.
Before the 1930s nobody exchanged diamond rings when they got engaged. It just wasn’t a thing. But in 1938, the De Beers diamond cartel launched a massive ad campaign claiming that the only way for a real man to show his love, is with an expensive hunk of crystallised carbon and. And of course, we bought it: (the article continues after the ad)
In fact, every element of the traditional American engagement was designed to make more money for De Beers. You know, the old saying: the engagement ring should be worth two months of salary, right? Well, that’s just an arbitrary number from an old De Beers ad campaign:
This has to be the most successful ad campaign of all time. But let’s dig deeper. Do these “2 months salary” diamonds actually worth something?
Well… no. Diamonds are intrinsically worthless. In 1999, De Beer’s chairman Nicky Oppenheimer said it himself:
“Diamonds are intrinsically worthless”
In fact, they are quite common. The only reason they are expensive, is because De Beers has a global monopoly on global mining and they artificially restrict the supply to check the prices up. But in reality, they have a ton of them.
Yeap, the diamond you blew your savings on, has virtually no real value, it’s one of the many.
The saddest thing is that a century of advertising had embedded the idea of a diamond engagement ring so deeply in our culture that even knowing all that doesn’t get you out of buying an engagement ring.
But at least now you know.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: The Chivas Regal Effect: How Brands Are Fooling You To Pay More For Less
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Source: Why Engagement Rings Are a Scam
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