Sitting in Michael's Lap
We've seen it written, heard it spoken by family and friends, seen it touted on television jeweler's ads, and even (some of us, I'm afraid I'm dating myself here) heard a song by that very name. But having been a girl for quite some time, I have yet to find a modicum of truth in this statement.
What in the bloody hell is so special about diamonds? OK -- so they're rare. Not nearly as rare as true, natural white-star sapphires, or even natural emeralds. They're pretty -- well so is austrian crystal, and I daresay it sparkles just as much. OK -- so it's the hardest mineral on earth. Well, you've got me there, but to my knowledge no woman has ever said "OH (insert boyfriend's name here), this diamond is just so HARD!" Perhaps, if you were planning to coat a set of cookware with it or edge a knife with it, I'd understand.
So what is so alluring about these little chunks of what is essentially coal, pressurized until it attains a regular crystalline structure? Does it have the ability to make the jewelry we wear more beautiful? Perhaps. But my eye has never been drawn to something colorless (a diamond) over something colored (an emerald, sapphire, or even a decent garnet for Heaven's sake!)
Certainly, a diamond makes jewelry more attractive -- but the sad fact is, today's jewelry NEEDS something to make it attractive, because all of the artistry has gone out of the field. However, even in this case the diamonds take second, at least in my eyes, to many of the colored precious and even some semi-precious stones.
I own several pieces of antique jewelry, some of them family heirlooms which are quite ancient and extremely valuable. All of them are, in my opinion, exquisitely beautiful. Not ONE of them boasts a diamond. In fact, many of them don't even have gems in them at all -- but they are beautifully wrought in gold or silver and are essentially works of art made to wear.
Personally, I think one of the biggest reasons why diamonds are so popular is because 1) jewelers are too busy mass-producing their wares to concentrate on creating something beautiful, and 2) we, the consumers, are so accustomed to looking at big, flashy stones that we wouldn't know a well-made piece of jewelry if it were rammed forcibly into one of our less public bodily orifices.
Whew. End of rant. Funny the things one feels they need to get off their proverbial chests ...
You cannot choose the way of your death, but the path you choose will determine its own end.