Instead of an article about how sex is FREE, I give you one on how they get you on the accessories.

Last week I went into Birks on Saint-Catherine Street to look at the estate jewelry display. I try to not go into Birks too much as the glare of diamonds hurts my eyes and I hear a whole continent of Africans weep for the loss of their children and relatives to the unethical practice of diamond mining.

If you want to have some fun at their expense, you can go shopping for a diamond (preferably as a male-female pairing) and ask the clerk where the diamonds come from. The combination of sweating because he cannot answer this question factually (he doesn’t know) and the utter fear of not making a sale by causing a ‘couple’s tiff’ should leave you entertained for days.

The only piece of estate jewelry I found to my liking (that did not have diamonds) was a beautiful Art Deco-ish locket of enameled green gold attributed to ‘famous US designer’ (no actual designer name, duh!) Everything in the manufacturing of the piece pointed to the 1950’s as a date of manufacturing. Price? 9,800$ And this is why I continue to buy my antique and vintage jewelry from estate sales and eBay.

The truth of the matter is that jewelry has little value compared to the price that it is being sold at. Sure, the gold it is made of has a value but it is only a small part of the price of the item. Gems are also overpriced. To believe the price tags on Birks’ gem jewelry, I would be a millionaire for my own collection of gems LOL

But what about diamonds and the whole racket of engagement, anniversary, promise ring market? In 2003, I listened to a conversation where one woman talked about how 1 carat used to be the ‘norm’ for an engagement ring but that now it should be 2 carats. Hmmm, where did this money-grubbing-whore wisdom come from?! Marketing! Perhaps this was an extreme case because I doubt would-be fiancees actually wonder “Should my boyfriend spend 1 month of salary or two on my engagement ring?!”

This whole culture is entirely fabricated and has become quite sad really. Diamonds are stockpiled and aplenty (not rare at all) and must be sold so after a decade of finding new reasons to sell diamonds from anniversary bands to spinster right-hand rings now diamonds have become a way to make amends.

There’s a diamond solution for everything. Now that everyone knows that the price for a husband to get out of the doghouse for assaulting a maid in a fancy spa is a 4-million dollar diamond ring, girls everywhere will clamor for rich assholes with even more vigor. But what about your average husband?

The people who made the video included above (Saatchi & Sattchi) figured that he should pay his getting out of the doghouse fine at JCPenney’s Jewelry department.

This commercial hits a new low in guilt marketing.

What he said!

I have always loved looking at jewelry, in fact I collect antique, tribal and religious jewelry from around the world. I have also collected unset gems and make jewelry for myself and my friends. I already own the fantastic 7 carat emerald-cut flawless sea foam aquamarine I would want to see on my finger everyday for the rest of my life. The fact that I could afford it doesn’t make it less pretty.

When I see a diamond I see death. Or, I can see a world changing opportunity.

1 Amorique diamond ring from Birks = 5,500$ tax not included (Notice the incredibly guilt inducing name, because it’s not love if you buy one of their regular diamond rings!)

With this money you can support 25 African businesses through Kiva.org in a rolling yearly fund that could last forever, or, take back your money after 5 years and spend it on something fun. By then you will have supported over 125 businesses. Default on loans is only 2% and money is re-paid as it comes in from the lendee making it available for withdrawal before the loan is fully repaid. Kiva.org also offers you a profile page which you can share with your friends and family. If you already have most everything you need for your home you can also invite your family to contribute for you and help build your Kiva.org fund.