Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Diamond is Forever, but My Salary is Exponentially Fleeting

The other night I got into a debate over how much an engagement ring is supposed to cost. I remained steadfast in my opinion that it is two month's salary while she was adamant (likely for personal reasons) that it was three. After getting no where with hearsay and conjecture, I did what any good little law student does.

I researched. Lexis and Westlaw were no help, so I used the second best thing. Google.

So I found this page, which pretty much confirmed what I already knew, that it is two months salary not three.

There are also numerous articles and videos detailing what a scam the diamond trade is, but we already knew this. They keep supply (what is available for sale) low and pay miners 2 cents hour, yada, yada. That ain't my fight (maybe one day, but not today).

However being brainwashed is my problem. Over the course of my investigation, I discovered a video on youtube that is a DeBeers commercial from the 1990s. Here it is:

Yeah, its nice, classic DeBeers, but did you carch the end?

Here is the screenshot of the last scene (click on it for large size):

See what it says there? "How else could a month's salary last a lifetime?"

When the fuck did it become two months salary? Was this a cheap ring? WTF? You cannot arbitrarily change your slogan to brainwash me into spending an extra couple grand. Was this youtube doctored? I need answers because I am pissed off about this.

However, I know this is a losing battle, because I am screwed either way (if I can by a cheap ring I end up married; and if I refuse to overpay for a ring, I end up cold and alone. Lose/Lose). To quote Ron White, the actual slogan for DeBeers should just be, "Diamonds . . . That'll Shut Her Up."


some guy said...

What are you worried about? You're a law student. Isn't your monthly salary $0? Propose now and you can get a ring from the bubblegum machine at the local supermarket!

waiting-to-exhale said...

Two months salary is a figure that diamond jewelry marketers invented to make people spend even more money on something that they don't need. Pretty effective, huh? Personally, I chose my own inexpensive ring after my boyfriend and I decided to get married and offered to pay for half, which he accepted. I mean, what does a man receive for becoming engaged? Squat. What can I say? I am a modern woman. And I happen to be married to a wonderful and loving modern man.

And would you really want to spend the rest of your life under the same roof with a woman who cares more about the size of the stone in her ring than she cares about being your wife? If you buy a beautiful but inexpensive engagement ring you get the added benefit of weeding those types out. You can always "upgrade" the stone on an anniversary.

So what would I say about how much a man should spend on the ring? Whatever works for him. if you have a superficial and petty girlfriend, then you better spend a lot and don't forget the air-tight prenup.


Anonymous said...

Hey, just stumbled across this post.

What I read a few years back (I think in The Economist) was that DeBeers marketed this differently in different countries, based on people's perceived willingness to part with their money.

So in the UK, it was 1 month, in the US it was 2 months, and in Japan it was 3 months... pretty sleazy, but hey, you gotta respect their demand-creating marketing all the same.