A couple of weeks ago, in the run-up to Valentines Day, we saw a lot of articles about jewelry in the consumer press. The Washington Post wrote about the enduring appeal of A Diamond Is Forever. GQ ran a how-to piece on buying an engagement ring. And Jezebel blogged about Chocolate Diamonds.

Ive never taken issue with anything Ive read on Jezebel. I consider myself a feminist, and I admire opinionated writing by intelligent women. So I was surprised by how much Dodai Stewarts rant about the marketing of brown diamonds annoyedme.

She takes Eddie LeVian of Le Vian Corp. to task for his companys brainwashery way of convincing women to spend their hard-earned dollars on something that they dont needand something the jewelry industry has trouble getting ridof.

What LeVian glosses over, of course, is that chocolate diamonds are just brown diamonds, Stewart writes. And brown diamonds are the most common kind of diamonds. There are tons of them.Tons.



She continues to ream LeVian: But the real issue with chocolate diamonds is how theyre aggressively marketed as a chocolate diamonds thing women should buy for themselves. A treat, like chocolate. Except theyre not a cheap, sweet, delicious snack. A LeVian chocolate diamond ring can cost from $1,300 to $8,000. And what are you really paying for? What is the value of that piece? What is it actually worth? Theres no resalemarket.

But, I want to scream, you can say that about any piece of designer jewelry, name-brand handbag, or ridiculously priced pair ofshoes!

Women dont buy brown diamond jewelry for its resale value. They Chocolate Diamonds buy it because its pleasing to the eye and they feel good about themselves when they wear it. And if they decide they can afford a $3,000 treat, then thats their business. Why does Stewart have to judge them? And worse, why does she imply that any woman whos decided to drop some serious cash on a piece of Chocolate Diamond jewelry has been bamboozled by a shady diamondseller?

Stewart says shes insulted by the name and marketing campaign behind Chocolate Diamonds, but Im insulted by her conviction that women are damsels in distress, too stupid to understand that the diamond industry is selling them. Of course the industry is selling them. Stewarts hardly the first person to recognize nobody needs a diamondespecially not a brown diamond set in a fashion design. Need is not, and has never been, thepoint.





She fails to mention that the jewelry industry has always promoted brown diamonds by more fanciful names, like champagne and cognac. When she finds out, is she going to make some specious argument about the diamond industry appealing to womens alcoholictendencies?

In essence, I just dont understand Stewarts outrage over Le Vians sales tactics: Its called marketing, and why is it so shocking and evil that jewelry companies doit?!



Its as if she decided that Chocolate Diamonds were an easy target for her pre-Valentines Day tirade, so she confirmed all of her preconceived notions about the diamond business by quoting all the usual suspects. (One request for any writer who chooses to skewer the diamond industry: Please, please stop referencing Jay Epsteins Atlantic article from 1982 as if its stillrelevant.)

Then she quotes scholar, college professor, and author Ken Mondschein, who makes a pretty offensive suggestion of his own about what he thinks might be the true motivations for renaming brown diamonds. Its too icky to repeat here. Suffice it to say that the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth, which I promptly washed away with a little piece ofchocolate.

http://www.jckonline.com/blogs/chain/2014/02/24/in-defense-chocolate-diamonds