April 19th, 2015

planet

diamonds

there was a good freakonomics podcast this week about diamonds. basically all stuff I knew about how there's no logical reason diamonds are expensive and in-demand, it was advertising that got us where we are today. but you could say I'm biased, I always thought this. I was a teenager when the stories of abuse and torture of diamond miners started breaking, but after those were investigated and possibly resolved, it lead a lot of us to ask the questions of what we all did to empower an industry to go to such unethical lengths to turn a profit. I didn't need much of an excuse to not like diamonds. So even if they are 100% nice to all those workers (which I doubt), there's still the silly history of marketing schemes giving people a false sense of value and taking their money for something totally impractical.

which leads to the podcast, touching on practicality. in the story, they interview a couple whose marriage almost dissolved over a diamond. the husband in the story is notoriously cheap, unscrewing light bulbs in the house to save money, categorizing everything as a need or a want. the wife puts up with this but doesn't totally love it. So at a charity event, they win a $7500 diamond, and then there's the controversy: the wife is thrilled she can finally have something nice and luxurious to wear, the husband says it's obvious they should just sell it and use the money to pay down debts.

luckily marc and I would have no marriage issues if this happened to us, we'd both sell it in a heartbeat! but it got me wondering if this is a problem everywhere. so hey, a poll!

if you won a diamond worth $7500...

I'd keep it and wear it
4(6.2%)
I'd sell it because I'm not a diamond fan
35(53.8%)
I'd sell it, and do the same for any luxury item I'd won
26(40.0%)

bonus poll question: if you have a significant other whose financial resources are linked to yours, do you agree on this?

we agree we'd keep it
1(1.6%)
we agree we'd sell it
44(69.8%)
we disagree
2(3.2%)
n/a
16(25.4%)


incidentally, the podcast ends with the couple having a nice discussion, admitting that they each just wanted to fill listened to, and agreeing to sell the diamond - and as proof, it's currently on ebay.