Thursday, February 11, 2010


Discern [verb] (dihs uhrn)
  1. To perceive or recognize

With Valentine's Day just around the proverbial corner, an abundance of jewelry advertisements has made me wonder if it's actually possible to discern a diamond from an artfully cut piece of glass.

For consumers like myself, the telltale sign of a diamond is the price - all derived from the 4-Cs: color, cut, clarity, and carat.  From those four options, it would appear that the first three are visible to the naked-eye and can be characteristics of any gem - or, dare I say, crystal?  Carats fall into an entirely different ballpark, but if a jeweler was to tell a customer that so-and-so ring was 24-carats, would they know if it was actually 14?

My visceral response: No, they wouldn't.  They'd flaunt their ring around like there's no tomorrow, waxing and waning on the beautiful princess cut, the ravishing clarity, the rich color, and, yes, the gluttonous carat count.  They'd have no idea that their hand was sporting a piece of cut glass and - you know what? - they'd be happy in their illusion.

Ignorance is, on occasion, bliss.  As long as the foundation is strong, a cheap ring can't break it.   A ring, now matter the cost, will not patch up a relationship on Valentine's Day.  What it will do is just sell for a bit more at the pawn shop when the divorce papers are signed.

If that's a main concern, than reaching a certain level of carat discernment may be prudent this Valentine's Day.

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