by Alex Francis

Valentine's Diamonds Photo by Katelyn Kenderdine | Flickr

Valentine’s Day and Diamonds

For decades now, the diamond industry has been the self-appointed sponsor of Valentine’s Day celebrations everywhere. And in a rather blunt article in the Huffington Post titled “Why I’m Not Buying Diamonds This Valentine’s Day,” diamond-aficionado Ira Weissman explains why it’s about time we stopped buying into the diamond industry’s marketing schemes and started buying more meaningful gifts.

A History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, February 14, is the feast day of Saint Valentine. Legends and stories abound about who Saint Valentine really was, but the most popular of these theories is that he was a priest living in third-century Rome at a time when young men were forbidden to get married, because Emperor Claudius II believed that single men made better soldiers. Valentine defied this decree by performing marriages for young men anyway, and was thus sent to jail and sentenced to death. Some believe that while he was imprisoned, he sent a message to a girl and signed it “from your Valentine,” and that is where the modern tradition stems from.

So where do diamonds fit in to all of this? According to Weissman, they don’t come into play until the 1980s.

Are Diamonds Forever?

It was around that time that the diamond industry and its advertising executives decided to implant the idea in the minds of America that diamond rings were essential for engagements and that the gift of diamond jewelry was the perfect way to express love. And thus, the “tradition” of gifting diamond jewelry to your loved ones on Valentine’s Day, one of the most popular days to get engaged, was born.

Weissman argues that because this tradition was so meaninglessly created and imposed, there is no reason for consumers to continue buying into it. He argues that there are far more appropriate gifts that can be given on that day in the middle of February.

In Weissman’s so-called “post-diamond era,” he advocates for engagement rings that are chosen based on personal preferences, budgets, and lifestyles and for Valentine’s Day gifts that are more in keeping with the spirit of the day. Rubies are the symbol of romance, passion, and devotion, and their red coloring fits in perfectly with the overarching theme of the day.

If you, like Weissman, think diamonds are passe, why not send your loose diamonds or small or large diamonds to Cash for Diamonds USA for some quick cash you can put towards some rubies. For more information on how to turn your diamonds into cash, visit

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