Material Girl

March 01, 2009

I went diamond-shopping this weekend. Last year I received a corporate pat-on-the-back with a financial award. Someone suggested that I spend it on jewelery instead of frittering it away on clothes, books and shoes. It took me months but I finally agreed.

It's not even the first major purchase I made, even for jewellery. I saved up on my first job and bought my father a new cellphone and my mother, a diamond ring. That was a funny feeling. A memorable feeling, a funny one and one I'll treasure all my life - the exhilarating thrill that comes from being able to buy something for the people you love, who have provided for you all your life.

A few years later, I'm going big-purchase-shopping again. But it just is different. A different kind of different.

I think in my head, despite all the wondrous freedom of financial independence and mental release, my liberated-ness has a few gaps in it. Like little stitches still binding me to old ways of being, long after I've snipped away the life I want to wear.

Diamonds are usually received as gifts, not bought for oneself. Gifted by a man - a father, a brother, a lover, a husband. If diamonds are a girl's best friend, it's because those sparkly stones carry the monetary value that they were bought for, but also the power of being cherished and indulged by men.

Diamonds have been symbolic for years and they continue to be so. Only my diamonds don't list out the men who will lavish their affections on me. They remind me of everything that I've worked for and achieved. The power to buy a diamond as well as the right to wear one that is truly my own. It's just odd how long it took me to accept the feeling. Not feel guilty about lavishing it on myself, not feel obligated to spending it on someone else or something more important/intelligent, not wonder if brandishing my economic power made me seem like even more of a man-hating feminist than people usually accuse me of being. It took me a long time to accept that it was okay to buy a diamond for myself and feel good about it.

Newfound power doesn't come easy; it's scary.

I call myself a chronic thinker. A few centuries ago, I'd have been called a Thinker. Or burnt at stake for being a witch. My degree is my passport to the world of respectability. I moonlight as a troubled poet, a warrior princess and a closet sorceress. I am all of these and yet none of them is all of me. All I was born to be really, was a story-teller. Scheherazade, Galelio, Cleopatra and Salvador have passed through. This time round, just call me IdeaSmith.
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March 1, 2009
02:19 PM

sorry to burst the bubble IS

diamonds are:


and are not for ever

despite what de-boer might like to portray

March 1, 2009
08:16 PM

I refuse to buy new diamonds until children in Sierra Leone are not being murdered and maimed by the truckload so we can have our bling-bling.

sorry, IS, but you should have bought yourself some nice bangles or another type of gem. too many children die in the mining and selling of diamonds to make them worthy buying.

also, I found in India that the quality of the diamonds was not that good. the sellers know that the average consumer knows nothing about the rating system of gems and so they can offload lesser quality/cuts of diamonds there and very few people know the difference. in all the time I was there I never heard someone ask about the GIA rating of the gems they were looking at, which is a huge mistake. You would never buy gold without knowing how many karats it was and how much it weighed, would you?

Deepti Lamba
March 2, 2009
01:52 AM

Idea, a gold biscuit or gold bonds would have been a wiser investment;)

Aditi N
March 2, 2009
12:17 PM

IS: Congratulations on the corporate reward. I love diamonds too :) Don't own diamonds but love them more than gold. Also you can buy diamonds that come with a certificate of origin. India is a member of the Kimberly Certification Process which was set up to assure consumers that by purchasing diamonds they were not financing war and human rights abuses. I don't know how tamper-proof/ scam-resistant that certificate is. If you would like to make sure now just for peace of mind just ask your vendor if he has one. I must say something which will sound terrible but is true: if you buy diamonds from a Gujrati vendor (and most diamond vendors are Gujratis) then it is most likely a blood diamond. Surat is host to a lot of smuggled blood diamonds and a lot of Gujrati vendors trade in these diamonds:(

Read this:


March 2, 2009
01:58 PM

Diamond Vs Gold

When times are good, economy is healthy, people are enjoying prosperity, than people indulge and Diamond represent that end of spectrum. It symbolizes good times, indulging in the present.

When times are uncertain, economy is shaky, people are worried about future, than people hedge it in Gold. Gold symbolizes conservative and cautious times, and looking out for future.

Diamond is not a commodity. It is not traded in open market. Its pricing is not fixed in open market by market forces. There is a diamond cartel that controls the diamonds industry. Thus wealth symbolized by Diamond is arbitrary, subjective, and not ever lasting.

Gold on the other hand is an openly traded commodity, its price is set by marker - so single person, group/organization or nation controls its pricing. Gold is a measure of wealth adopted by the world since ages - many economists believe present economic woes are due in part to rejection of gold standard in favor of paper currency, thereby world losing the fiscal discipline.

In India, Diamonds were patronized by royals while Gold remained people's choice. There are communities in India who consider diamond to be inauspicious and Gold to be auspicious. World record: India has the highest amount of Gold in the private hands. India is one of the biggest importer of Gold. The statistics about diamond industry in India is also staggering. But it has fallen on hard times this tear. Millions of people are laid off in Diamond industry. While Gold has hit the roof - prices are projected to reach $1500.

March 2, 2009
07:57 PM

Typo Correction in #5 Para 4

Gold on the other hand is an openly traded commodity, its price is set by MARKET - NO single person, group/organization or nation controls its pricing...

March 2, 2009
08:11 PM


March 2, 2009
08:16 PM

wow, a racist AND a sexist! impressive!

and where do you get access to the scanning electron microscope to find your parts, #7?

March 3, 2009
03:13 AM


Aditi N
March 3, 2009
10:39 AM

This post is not about feminism. Just because it is written by a woman who bought herself diamonds does not mesan you guys use this thread as your forum. What is this nonsense about dildos? There is a limit to being crass. Can't you make a point without losing credibility. Have some decency and try to stick to the topic of discussion.

There are plenty other reasons to respect and treat women right...sex is not the only one although I can see why some of you would think that. Men who cannot see women as anything but sexual objects cannot help but think on those lines.

You are not tainting feminism at all. You are merely exposing your own mentalities.

Ayan Roy
March 3, 2009
11:20 AM

I have a brain configuration which prevents me from feeling or understanding the "importance", "value" and "craze" of diamonds, jewellery, gold and ornaments. I just look at them as elements (C, Ag, Au) and alloys - and see that these things are not of too much utility value , except for conductivity, mallaebility, ductility and resistance to corrosion (or hardness for diamond).
I just am not able to understand why people hanker so much and sometimes kill (or die) for useless pieces of metal and stone, especially when they are so rare and difficult to procure :-)

Since childhood, I have been an "anti-bling/ornament/jewellery" person. I always tried to advise my mum and cousins to wear as less jewellery as possible. (I personally am always "nude" in that regard - no chains, rings or bangles or any kind of ornaments on my body)

If I were to give a gift to someone I loved, the last thing (probably never) would be a piece of jewellery!! I feel any gift should be of some "UTILITY VALUE" rather than it's decoration quotient.

Anyways, that's the way I am. To each his or her own!

Deepti Lamba
March 3, 2009
10:19 PM

I prefer pearls.

March 4, 2009
01:22 PM

I prefer Sea Shell pendant, carbon dated aged, polished on the interior, very much pagan insipred fashion.

Other than that wud be "Ion Metal Balance Necklace"

not for me but for my material girlfriend! End of day, it is not the gift is so special but who gave you and how he choose it and the love within that makes it special.

No wonder so many women have lost that ingredient
in the gift that is so special. It could even be an onion when the price of onion is 100 rupees a KG. LOL, no I was joking.

Men make the gift the real stuff. No wonder women love whatever Men give, Its beyond love.

A Men :-(

March 4, 2009
03:50 PM

"There are plenty other reasons to respect and treat women right.."

Why should one do so, when women consider it to be slavery, if they respect and treat men right?

Aditi N
March 4, 2009
09:25 PM

"Why should one do so, when women consider it to be slavery, if they respect and treat men right?"

Who are you talking about? What women? Wake up. See a therapist. Get it off your chest. Don't use DC as your therapy couch.

I don't say this to be mean but honestly: it is not good to keep such grudges bottled up. You need a vent...and Desicritics is not it.

Take care.

March 5, 2009
01:36 PM


March 6, 2009
12:50 AM

I second Aditi's opinion above! A good shrink would help...

March 6, 2009
05:41 PM

I third the opinion of Roshan and Aditi.
Sumanth, tum kab sudrega? otherwise theRapist will visit u as bangalore site seeing activity!

March 7, 2009
12:02 AM

I agree with Aditi and the likes. Just because someone wrote a post about buying diamonds doesn't mean it's feminist or whatever. I really hate this gender war either which way.

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