I’ve never been a huge fan of diamonds. They always seemed ostentatious to me, and I hardly have the kind of lifestyle where I need any. And of course while rings have long been a symbol of love and commitment, the whole diamond engagement ring “tradition” originated in a marketing campaign. Yes, your rock is the result of a coldly calculated push by the diamond industry, not an ancient symbol of everlasting love. Do I even need to mention the brutal conditions endured by diamond mine workers? (I am aware that there are conflict-free diamonds.)
Mostly they just seemed a bit boring to me. They looked rather cold compared to the seductive green gleam of emeralds or the shiny opaque mystery of pearls. And most engagement rings seemed to be little more than a diamond delivery system—just a structure for showcasing a single gem. Yawn.
I have grown to like them, however, when used in original and creative ways. For a long time I was fascinated by jewelry made with raw diamonds. It seems so subversive, choosing to go with the irregular rock instead of chipping away at it to reveal the faceted gem inside.
These days, I find myself liking the look of a lot of small diamonds instead of one big solitaire. I often wear my grandmother’s art deco cocktail ring, pictured above, for everyday occasions. It’s subtle, but it catches the light in a way that I find very pleasing. That’s the undeniable appeal of diamonds–that sparkle that is like nothing else. Perhaps they’re not my best friend, but I could make a place for them in the inner circle. However, unless I strike it rich or someone buys me some, my collection isn’t going to grow anytime soon. That’s all right. I really do like amethysts and peridot.