Are Diamonds Really a Girl’s Best Friend?

Shiney #1 (Returned)

The diamond invention—the creation of the idea that diamonds are rare and valuable, and are essential signs of esteem—is a relatively recent development in the history of the diamond trade. Until the late nineteenth century, diamonds were found only in a few riverbeds in India and in the jungles of Brazil, and the entire world production of gem diamonds amounted to a few pounds a year. In 1870, however, huge diamond mines were discovered near the Orange River, in South Africa, where diamonds were soon being scooped out by the ton. Suddenly, the market was deluged with diamonds. The British financiers who had organized the South African mines quickly realized that their investment was endangered; diamonds had little intrinsic value—and their price depended almost entirely on their scarcity. The financiers feared that when new mines were developed in South Africa, diamonds would become at best only semiprecious gems.

The major investors in the diamond mines realized that they had no alternative but to merge their interests into a single entity that would be powerful enough to control production and perpetuate the illusion of scarcity of diamonds. The instrument they created, in 1888, was called De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., incorporated in South Africa. As De Beers took control of all aspects of the world diamond trade, it assumed many forms. In London, it operated under the innocuous name of the Diamond Trading Company. In Israel, it was known as “The Syndicate.” In Europe, it was called the “C.S.O.” — initials referring to the Central Selling Organization, which was an arm of the Diamond Trading Company. And in black Africa, it disguised its South African origins under subsidiaries with names like Diamond Development Corporation and Mining Services, Inc. At its height — for most of this century — it not only either directly owned or controlled all the diamond mines in southern Africa but also owned diamond trading companies in England, Portugal, Israel, Belgium, Holland, and Switzerland.

De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices — and unassailable — that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.

Apparently not. According to this article, we all have been subjected to the collective willpower of a diamond cartel and brilliant advertising campaign over the last 100+ years.

Again, when deciding to propose to your significant other – you don’t need a ring if the moment is right.

Image via Flickr user ilovebutter

Maps in a Self-Help Book about Love and Relationships?

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If I ruled the world, or at least a publishing company, all books would contain as much supplementary information as possible. Nonfiction, fiction—doesn’t matter. Every work would have an appendix filled with diagrams, background information, digressions and anecdata. And of course, maps.

Victory Johnson as quoted in boingboing.net

I had planned on having an appendix, but definitely had not planned on including any maps. Certainly something to think about.

Photo from Flickr user davecito

Meaningful Quote – Beyond Perls

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Beyond Perls

 

If I just do my thing and you do yours,
We stand in danger of losing each other
And ourselves.

 

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations;
But I am in this world to confirm you
As a unique human being,
And to be confirmed by you.

 

We are fully ourselves only in relation to each other;
The I detached from a Thou
Disintegrates.

 

I do not find you by chance;
I find you by an active life 
Of reaching out.

 

Rather than passively letting things happen to me,
I can act intentionally to make them happen.

 

I must begin with myself, true;
But I must not end with myself:
The truth begins with two.

(Walter Tubbs, 1972)

And so, the Hopeful Romantic follows this premise – not passively letting life (and opportunities for love) slip bye, but instead intentionally creating new opportunities to live life to the fullest, allowing more possibilities of love to enter their life.

[image from here, used under fair use]