Are you in the market for a diamond? Probably not, considering the recent downturn in diamond sales. Sales of diamonds- and other luxury goods- have declined over the last year or so as a result of the economic downturn.
Engagement rings are still selling, but not as many people are purchasing “Christmas diamonds” and high-end gemstones. Americans, at least, must know what I mean by “Christmas Diamonds”- these are the diamond earrings and pendants they advertise every year just before Christmas. The designs change slightly over time (the “Journey” pendant, the “Circle” pendant, the “Heart” pendant… and so on…) but the advertising message is the same: buy your wife/girlfriend/daughter the latest trendy diamond jewelry, and she’ll love you even more over the holidays. She’s also more likely to give you a big smooch under the mistletoe. By the way, does anyone else hate those “Every Kiss Begins with Kay” ads? The jingle makes my skin crawl, personally.
As a result of the downturn in “Christmas” and other diamonds, many small diamond companies have gone bankrupt in recent months. De Beers, the largest diamond producer in the world, is surviving- barely- by drastically scaling back production, laying off a large percentage of their staff, and holding out with loans and their large amount of capital. If De Beers manages to weather the current economic storm, which they almost certainly will, they will emerge with an even greater hold on the diamond market. They are certain to take over the voids left by the bankruptcy of smaller companies. Actually, diamond sales are looking better than they did earlier in the year, so perhaps relief for De Beers is just around the corner.
Unless, of course, everyone starts purchasing what is bound to be the “Christmas diamond” of the decade: a diamond made from a lock of Michael Jackson’s hair. Seriously. A company called LifeGem has acquired a lock of Jackson’s hair and will be putting some of MJ’s carbon into artificially-made diamonds. Apparently, LifeGem’s Beethoven diamonds sold well. I wonder how much the MJ diamonds will go for? I wonder what colors they will come in? I wonder how long it will be before MJ’s family lawyer tries to file a case against LifeGem? Intriguing.
As a reminder, a couple of years ago I wrote an article for Skepchick about LifeGem. For more on the company, you can also check out their website. Apparently, you can even turn Fido into a diamond keepsake.
And now, a challenge: what’s your best plot for the MJ LifeGem “Christmas Diamond” commercial? Think “Every Kiss Begins with Kay” with a twist. Maybe: “Every Kiss Begins with MJ?” I look forward to your responses!