Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why you DON'T want him to buy you jewelry for Christmas

Every year, I inevitably find myself in a social situation where the question is posed, "What do you want for Christmas?" Every year, inevitably, someone in the group will say, "jewelry." This always leads to a discussion about why jewelry will never make my list and why I choose not to wear much of it, even though I can afford it. Truth is, my husband knows better than to buy it for me!

I get it. I know. That feeling of longing when you see a woman with a truly stunning piece of jewelry, a diamond the size of a golf ball or a necklace that would fit in comfortably with the crown jewels.  We've been conditioned to think that gems are a good investment that convey love and permanence in a relationship, and the bigger the gem the bigger the love, right? Wrong. So wrong! And ladies, you are the only ones who are going to change the perpetuation of the myths around jewelry.

Myth #1: Jewelry is a good investment

Sorry, no. Most jewelry is marked up at every stage in the production and distribution process to well above its actual value. Diamonds especially depreciate significantly the moment you leave the store. The only exception might be the well timed purchase of gold, but most jewelry you wear isn't a pure enough gold for you to see a return on your investment.  (Source: CNN Money)

Myth #2: Jewelry shows an investment in the relationship

There are much better ways to show you are invested in a relationship than jewelry. Jewelry is a "one and done" gift. He gives it to you and then walks away. On your finger or around your neck, it acts as a repellent to others who might be interested in you, but the jewelry does not have an equal effect on your man. Compare this to a gift of an experience, like concert tickets. Concert tickets require planning for the future and thinking about your likes and dislikes. Concert tickets mean he really believes he will still be with you a month from now when Beyonce comes to town and that he recognizes that you love Beyonce (even if he doesn't). Plus, going to that concert will create a shared experience that you can talk about for a lifetime. In fact, research shows that people who buy experiences rather than stuff are generally happier. (Source: Forbes)

Myth #3: Jewelry doesn't hurt anyone…

Hey, it's just a fashion choice with sentimental value, and it's not hurting anyone, right? Well…truth is it might be. Gems are mined. Mining is both bad for the environment and often employs unsafe working conditions and child labor. Plus, have you heard of blood diamonds? Diamonds are sometimes used to finance conflict and social injustice around the world and to launder money. In a jewelry store, you can't tell which diamonds have dirty little secrets behind them and the sales person isn't going to know.

Full disclosure, I do have a small diamond in my wedding ring (one purchased before I knew about blood diamonds) and each girl in my family has a special, matching platinum necklace with heavy sentimental value. I don't judge people who wear jewelry and often admire artistically designed pieces. But for the reasons mentioned above, my jewelry purchases are few and far between, and much more conscientious than they used to be.

And jewelry is not on my Christmas list.

1 comment:

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