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PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 63: Diamonds are whose best friend?

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Katy Winn/Getty Images

Holly and I have thoughts on diamonds. Apparently those views are very strong. And apparently we are unreserved at sharing them with you and others.

Here’s what we shared:

  • An anecdote about, again, my vacation that maybe people are tired of hearing about
  • Our views on diamond engagement rings
  • Stuff You Should Know’s recent episode on diamonds
  • Culture imperative and De Beers’ manufacturing thereof
  • The bits De Beers’ ads have harped on in various cultures, like permanence (the U.S.) or tradition (Japan)
  • The first known diamond engagement ring: 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy, allegedly
  • The origin of De Beers and its namesake farm in South Africa, and Cecil Rhodes who bought up all the diamond claims there (and was also burned in effigy)
  • Conflict diamonds and the Kimberley Process
  • Commercial ire
  • That one-, two- or three-month salary guideline for engagement rings and where it comes from
  • De Beers ads during the counterculture revolution
  • Dan Savage, Savage Love and “monogamish”
  • You know that stereotype that women want the big rock? Data does not support. Men, not women, are more willing to sacrifice other stuff for a bigger ring.
  • Buying a wedding ring as a rite of passage/entry into adulthood for men
  • My primary source of research “The Heartless Stone: A Journey through the Worlds of Diamonds, Deceit and Desire
  • Breakup etiquette and who keeps the ring
  • Cultured pearls are OK. But don’t tell people you bought a cultured diamond!
  • Things that have loosened De Beers’ monopoply: avoidance of conflict diamonds, champagne diamonds and chocolate diamonds
  • The cultures of various diamond mining communities
  • De Beers’ focus on being a luxury brand rather than controlling all diamonds everywhere
  • Listener mail: From Elizabeth. She writes about our Defending Disney Princesses? episode and our “Guilty Pleasures” episode
  • How Diamonds Work and other articles on our site

Episode link: Diamonds are whose best friends?

My research:

Holly’s research:

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