They are girl’s best friends. They are forever. They are the marital badge.

Diamonds. They are expensive. And why are they expensive? After all, they are just compressed carbon. A billion years old pieces of coal. Maybe the antiquity causes the price? But Trilobite fossils of the same age are sold for $1.99 on EBay. Why are diamonds so pricey? Most people believe diamonds are the rarest thing on the planet – a total myth; there are enough to give a fistful to everyone on the globe. Even considering only quality diamonds – the four-Cs merit holders (Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut), there is still plenty. So why are they so expensive? Why are they so much more popular than other gemstones which are just as attractive? Why have they acquired an aura and desirability beyond their physical properties? The reason is - we’ve been conditioned to want a diamond.
Diamonds placement was one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history. This rock became a direct association with celebrities and royals, a perfect gift of love and a marriage emblem. In other words - the ultimate bling. This ‘fundamental rock’ would be pretty cheap, if not the strong monopoly of De Beers cartel, controlling the supply of diamonds and keeping the artificially high prices.
Still, there are devoted posh-diamonds-lovers.

First, Chakra-fans who believe that gems have metaphysical, spiritual, physical and emotional effect on human body. But even for them diamonds should be a debatable substance. ‘Blood’ diamonds will not improve your Chakra. You never know what blood-spattered story stands behind the shiny rock you place on your body.

Then, people who just love the diamond guise and its transparent fire. For them there is a bunch of look-alikes, not necessarily fake. Like Moissanite, that is as beautiful as intriguing. While diamonds are home-made in the Earth bowels, moissanite is imported from outer space via meteorites. It is so stylish to wear jewelry that has fallen from the sky in a burning inferno. Of course, the extraterrestrial supply of this mineral is limited, but moissanite can be successfully grown in laboratories. That does not make it less attractive. The most competent experts can’t distinguish moissanite from a natural diamond without a test. Okay, diamond is stronger, moissanite is more fragile. It should matter only if you plan to cut steel with your jewelry. Besides, a simple test using a hammer can prove that with a proper muscle power you can also make a real diamond into a pile of diamond powder. By all other criteria the ‘moon rock’ does not yield to the ‘earth sparkler’, it even has more fire than diamond. And you can get more bling for your buck.

And then, there are traditions. The marriage proposal only becomes real with a stone on girl’s finger – never mind a man on his knee. Engagement ring is sort of security blanket for potential marriage malfunction. The man may go – the ring will stay. It is a cancellation rock. And size does matter. The size of the diamond is linked to the size of guy’s bank account. This may be a misconstruction. Some guys will put themselves in crushing debt just to present their lady with a decent bling. This should be linked to the size of affection. Alas, the couple will have to deal with the debt together later. The affection may go, but the debt needs to be paid.

Another popular misinterpretation comes to ‘Conflict diamonds’ that is actually a synonym of ‘Blood diamonds’. Many people think by mistake that this term refers to relationship issues. So men apply this expression to diamonds they buy for their mate to ‘make up’ for ‘misbehavin’. That is certainly not as bad as millions of deaths in Africa, but still symbolizes unhealthy relationship. It makes diamonds not-really-girl’s-friends.

Diamonds are often considered an investment. This is yet another delusion, unless you buy ‘the Blue Hope’, ‘the Koh-I-Noor’ or ‘the Orlov’. Try to sell an average second-hand diamond ring on eBay or at a pawn shop. Do you really think you'll get anything close to what you paid for it? A diamond is an illiquid asset, not an investment.

In spite of this, there are real diamond lovers, for whom diamonds have a romantic aura of mystery and magic, love and purity - or rather, a unique luxury and familial heritage! The modern technology offers an ingenious and inexpensive alternative for these people. Given that diamonds can be synthesized out of everything containing carbon, the mad scientists already created ‘baby hair jewelry’ made of newborn hair, lovingly collected by sentimental mothers. The next idea is that the corpse of a loved one may be turned into a diamond, and thus you perpetuate the memory of him! As creepy as the thought of wearing your favorite uncle around your neck is, it could be validated as an apt move toward immortality. Because Carbon is forever.