Jerk Magazine March 2019

Page 48


DIAMONDS ARE FOR NEVER Diamond sales are plummeting, but are millennials really to blame? Of course they are, but for all the right reasons. by Vivian Whitney | illustrations by Thomas Harris

We’ve all read the Buzzfeed articles and tweets calling out millennials for killing this industry and that. Everyone loves to blame the generation for the decreases in sales of paper napkins, fabric softener, even cereal. But a tweet from The Economist is what seems to have started the onslaught of accusatory articles. In 2016, the news publication tweeted a story with the headline, “Why aren’t millennials buying diamonds?” as if it the answer wasn’t obvious to every millennial on Twitter. Why aren’t millennials buying cereal? That’s a better question. And so, every Whitman professor's favorite magazine received the obvious answers it deserved. The top source of money stress for millennials is debt, according to Forbes, as all of us have probably experienced. It’s fucking expensive to pay rent and buy food. And in a world increasingly ruled by social media and experiences, the extra money millennials do have, is spent on things like concerts, events, eating out, and taxis or Ubers. According to CNBC, 72 percent of millennials have less than $1,000 and a whopping 31 percent

don’t have any money in savings at all. With a simple Google search, The Economist could’ve answered their own question. A one-carat diamond alone would cost on average more than most millennials have saved. In the unfortunately-titled article, the outof-touch magazine happened to mention the controversy surrounding the diamond industry that only furthers millennial reluctance to spend what little they have on gemstones, of all things. Diamond mining is plagued with exploitation, which sparked the term “conflict diamonds” to refer to illegally mined and sold diamonds that further conflict in mining countries. They're glittering reminders of horrible abuse. Of all generations, millennials are most likely to research the ethics and social responsibility of companies and what issues they support or to which they contribute, according to Forbes. And diamond companies are no exception. But even then, synthetic diamonds are still almost as expensive. We'll take cubic zirconia instead. Just one more thing Kanye was wrong about: diamonds aren’t forever.

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