We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Diamonds are not scarce, are not investments (they depreciate), and are no more "forever" than any other rock. Their popularity as stones in engagement rings dates to the 1930s with DeBeers' very effective marketing campaign.
We covet diamonds in America for a simple reason: the company that stands to profit from diamond sales decided that we should. De Beers’ marketing campaign single-handedly made diamond rings the measure of one’s success in America. Despite its complete lack of inherent value, the company manufactured an image of diamonds as a status symbol. And to keep the price of diamonds high, despite the abundance of new diamond finds, De Beers executed the most effective monopoly of the 20th century. Okay, we get it De Beers, you guys are really good at business!
De Beers believes that a fellow should spend two month's income on a diamond. Wiki has a brief history of engagement rings and wedding rings.
Carpe Diem recommends fake diamonds, and real love and reliable companionship.
As a shiny thing that looks pretty in a ring, diamonds have one other thing going for them: durability. I have had amethysts break in their settings, but not diamonds. So if you are buying an engagement or wedding ring that will be worn on a daily basis for decades, a diamond is the best way to go.
However, I agree with you that diamonds are not scarce as DeBeers would imply with their ads. Diamonds should be much cheaper than they are.
Neither my wife nor I have any particular interest in owning diamonds or diamond jewelry (or any other jewelry, gold or silver, for that matter). Seems a waste of money to us. But if someone were to offer her a necklace of large, perfectly formed, matched black pearls, I don't she'd turn it down.
There are diamonds, and then there are diamonds. Sizeable diamonds of the first water, beautifully cut with finesse, are rare. Most of what we see are commercial quality. That said, diamonds are not forever; they may be hard, in terms of withstanding abrasion, but may chip or crack along lines of cleavage, more so than sapphires, spinels, beryls, and topaz.