Friday Report: Carat, clarity, color, cut and credit
“With me today is diamond importer, Tom Shame. Tom is just back from the Belgium diamond markets. Tell us, Tom, how’s Antwerp?”
“What? You called me a twerp? How dare . . . I could have you flogged!”
“No, no, Tom, I said you had just come from Antwerp.”
“Oh, right. I get it. Jet lag you know. Alright, let’s get started.”
“Tom, do you ever just run your fingers through all those diamonds?”
“I’ll tell you a secret, Jon. At night I put a couple of hundred dollars’ worth into a big bag and use them for a pillow.”
“A couple of hundred dollars’ worth?”
“I buy wholesale, Jon.”
“Tell us, Tom, do your diamonds come from De Beers?”
“No, I get them all from De Blacks in Sierra Leone. A lot of people don’t know that De Blacks in Africa work happily for pennies, just for De joy of seeing De Whites fulfill their destiny.”
“What is that destiny, Tom?”
“To exploit the Blacks and become immensely wealthy.”
“Tom, a friend of mine is considering getting engaged, but he doesn’t know how big of a diamond to buy. Do you have any advice for him?”
“Well, duh, Jon, there are four things to consider when buying an engagement ring for that special little lady. The first is that women have genetically bad eyesight and a tiny diamond would definitely cause a permanent squint. The second thing is the embarrassment of possibly hearing his new mother-in-law say, `Who’s he gonna’ impress with that little thing?’
“The third consideration is the ancient adage, `The bigger the diamond, the deeper the love.’”
“I’ve never heard that.”
“I made it up two months ago and we’re test-marketing in the East. If it polls well, we’ll pitch it in a big campaign.”
“What’s the last thing, Tom?”
“By buying a much larger diamond than they can possibly afford, the newlyweds can experience years of mind-numbing work, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy while I open a couple of new stores.”
“Congratulations, Tom, by the way, what’s a cocktail ring?”
“I’m glad you asked, Jon.”
“Well, I had to, see, it says it right here in the script.”
“The cocktail ring was a brilliant idea. A young couple comes into the store, not knowing how to buy a diamond. We feed them wickedly strong cocktails until they’re totally wasted. Then our finance specialist digs through their wallets and purses to figure up their net worth. Now this is where the Lousy Mall Jewelers service ends, but at Tom Shame’s we believe no purchase is final until we’re 100 percent satisfied, so we go the extra mile and arrange a home-equity loan on both parents’ homes.”
“One last question, Tom, someone told me that the consumer price of diamonds is manipulated by diamond exporters who hoard vast quantities of them to create an artificial scarcity, allowing them to charge exorbitant prices. Do you have any comment on this?”
“. . . Someone . . . told you . . . what? Who? Who said that? Name names! I’ll burn down their house . . . I’ll rip our their grandmothers’ hearts!”
Now you have a friend in the diamond business.
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