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Diamonds and the Perception of Value

Diamonds are an essentially valueless commodity whose supply has been purposely restricted in order to make them valuable. Yeah, this article is over twenty five years old and anyone who has ever even been on the internet once has probably already seen it. Regardless, its still an absolutely fascinating read on so many levels. The story of the diamond is an illustration of the power of monopolies and cartels to restrict supply and to create value from the valueless. It is a story about the greatest marketing campaign of all time, one that has not only created the perception of value but maintained and increased that perception over time. It is the story of a society which buys into that perception even though an increasing percentage of the population is aware of the truth. It is the story of human natures need for symbolism and the individuals need to demonstrate status within society. It is the story of people’s ability to ignore that which they would normally find appalling. It is a fascinating story, but perhaps it is a story undergoing a revision? And more from USA Today.