The diamond engagement ring - Is it morally right?

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  1. EpicNoob profile image45
    EpicNoobposted 8 years ago

    From around the 15th century, the diamond ring has been the symbol of engagement between two lovers - as a precursor to marriage. But this raises a moral dilemma as to the ethics behind where they actually come from (no, not Tiffany's). Sure, there're bound to be countless, legitimate diamond mines in those more economically developed countries such as in Yellowknife, Canada, but the majority of our diamonds come from some of the least developed countries on the planet where workers are far more vulnerable to exploitation.

    It seems that the 'western' desire for these precious stones has led to civil wars in countries such as Sierra Leone - where diamond miners works just to be fed. Thus changing the name of these stones to 'blood diamonds' - diamonds associated with the arms and munitions trade.

    Perhaps since this exploitation of less economically developed countries is so prevalent in almost all aspects of trade today diamonds aren't at the top of the list. But there's one difference between an engagement ring and a pair of Nike shoes - the fact that you never take it off.

    What's your view?

    1. optimus grimlock profile image57
      optimus grimlockposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      the symbolism of the ring is a good thing!The fact that people lose their lives over others symbolism is were this becomes immoral. As a society we have clearly lost our way and the diomond engagement ring is proof of this, wether you realise it or not is up to you. I think blood diomond open alot of people eyes to the truth of the diomond trade. Its sad when people dont take the time to realise were the stuff they buy actually comes from.

    2. Norah Casey profile image68
      Norah Caseyposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      The first time I was engaged, I received an expensive diamond engagement ring. I had asked for an antique ring, but that wasn't what he wanted to give (quite a sign of things to come). I didn't know the background of how many diamonds make it to the market, and I find it morally reprehensible now that I do know. I gave the ring back (for other reasons). Next time, I'm going to get what I actually want; an antique ring with a non-diamond that has some color in it. smile

  2. wyanjen profile image80
    wyanjenposted 8 years ago

    I don't like diamonds.

    Why can't an engagement ring have a pearl instead of a diamond? People get married in all kinds of ways but that ring always has a diamond. Diamonds are forever, right? Well, the other stones are forever too.
    This is one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history.

    Another problem with diamond marketing:
    If these precious stones are so damn rare, as we are told, how can there possibly be so many jewelry stores selling them? How is it you can find them in the sleaziest pawn shop, if they're so damn rare? C'mon.

    I'm just getting started.

    The average consumer has no idea which grade of diamond is the most valuable. Oh - the salesman can explain that. How helpful.

    Most people couldn't tell you the difference between a real and a fake.

    Most people couldn't look at two diamonds and tell you which one has the better cut.

    People will pay more for a stone that doesn't have flaws, even though the flawed one is the same carat and has the identical cut. And they can't even see the flaw.

    I see this time after time with family & friends: the husband thinks that he has to buy the best diamond or his wife will think he's a schmuck. The wife thinks that her man really knows his stuff. Neither one actually has a clue - they just got played off of each other.

    I needed cash so I sold my wedding ring. I went to 5 or 6 different places to get estimates and the best price I could get was from one of the pawn shops.

    He paid me $25. Give me a break!

    (I've got a pair of Nike shoes that have lasted longer than my marriage did. Granted I only wear them a couple times a month at most, but I bought them in 1995. So in my case, the shoes were MUCH more valuable than the diamond ring. hee hee)

  3. wyanjen profile image80
    wyanjenposted 8 years ago

    That post got so long, I forgot to answer your question:

    Morally right?

    No, with a capital HELL.


  4. Cagsil profile image82
    Cagsilposted 8 years ago

    Hey Jen, how are you today?

    As for the question/post- there are a lot of things that are morally right and many that are not. It depends on the actions of one who tries to obtain the diamond and who gets hurt in the process. This dilemma about where the diamonds come from isn't as much a concerned, but who died in the process is what has a bug up most people's arse.

    1. wyanjen profile image80
      wyanjenposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Howdy Ray

      Congrats on your payout & on the interview! Good for you.

      Have you seen a show called "Deadliest Catch"? It's about fishermen. It's a very dangerous profession. It seems like there is a death every season.

      Apart from the obvious point that the fishermen are not being exploited, let's compare the two products.

      A man does not walk into a restaurant and say "I'm hungry. I'm supposed to eat king crab" and then wait for the waiter to teach him what a king crab is. And why they are so expensive. And how to tell which one is best by analyzing the color of the crab's shell. And worrying the whole time about whether his wife will think he's a schmuck if he buys the wrong one.

      He doesn't spend his money on the king crab that the salesman tells him is the best one, because he himself has no idea what he's buying.

      No - he's willing to pay a high price because he really enjoys eating king crab.

      The diamond market (I'm talking about average unwealthy people) is artificially created. People buy them because they think they are supposed to. There is no alternative, competing product to keep the prices reasonable.

      If my ex had spent that money on a really nice ring, instead of an official "Diamond Engagement Ring", he would have gotten better quality for the amount he spent. And I maybe would have been able to buy more groceries that week I pawned it. 'Cuz he got sold a cheap POS.

  5. profile image0
    Audreveaposted 8 years ago

    I'm sure there's exploitation somewhere in the process of a lot of things we buy as consumers. It's so hidden, it's hard to know and some unscrupulous types will actively lie to conceal these things.

    I like to avoid animal testing, but then I realise that even though the company doesn't test it does not mean the ingredients haven't been tested on animals by others before being incorporated into the product.

    Sometimes I just want to go and live in the woods and make my own things out of bark and twine.

  6. Cagsil profile image82
    Cagsilposted 8 years ago

    Thank you Jen. The interview was a huge surprise, but the payout was expected. wink big_smile

  7. Greek One profile image73
    Greek Oneposted 8 years ago

    You don't have to buy diamonds (or anything else) from places which dig up or manufacture goods in ways that make you feel uncomfortable.

  8. Ron Montgomery profile image59
    Ron Montgomeryposted 8 years ago

    Blood diamonds are an appropriate symbol of the pain and suffering a wife inflicts on her husband.

    (oh crap! she saw that.  I'm in trouble.)

    1. Greek One profile image73
      Greek Oneposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      ... especially if she doesn't get any


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