Fire In Her Wake

Via Jacques Distler, I ran across this lovely article about gem-quality artificial diamonds. According to the article, the DeBeers cartel is pretty freaked out.

In Antwerp, Van Royen tells me of another threat. There’s a rumor of a new, experimental method for growing gem-quality diamonds. The process – chemical vapor deposition – has been used for more than a decade to cover relatively large surfaces with microscopic diamond crystals. The technique transforms carbon into a plasma, which then precipitates onto a substrate as diamond. The problem with the technology has always been that no one could figure out how to grow a single crystal using the method. At least until now, Van Royen says. Apollo Diamond, a shadowy company in Boston, is rumored to be sitting on a single-crystal breakthrough. If true, it represents a new challenge to the industry, since CVD diamonds could conceivably be grown in large bricks that, when cut and polished, would be indistinguishable from natural diamonds. “But nobody has seen them in Antwerp,” Van Royen says. “So we don’t even know if they are for real.”

I take a transparent 35-millimeter film canister from my pocket and put it on the table. Two small diamonds are cushioned on cotton balls inside. “Believe me,” I say, “they’re for real.”

Longtime readers of this journal1 might recall that I’ve been concerned about diamonds for a while now. I’ve wanted nothing to do with the unscrupulous DeBeers cartel and their nasty “conflict diamonds”. In fact, I had pretty much given up on the idea of engagement rings altogether until M’ris pointed out that you need something to brand your spouse as property. But what, then? M’ris suggested tattoos. I thought that a tattoo might be too subtle, but M’ris replied that the tattoo would simply need to be across the forehead and read, “TAKEN”. Problem solved!

Speaking of M’ris, I now have proof that the officially silly California recall is entirely her fault. When she was in Minnesota, Jesse Ventura was elected governor. Now that she’s in California, we get this recall circus. Coincidence??? I think not, and neither does her old friend Scott. Now, sure — you nitpickers are saying, “Evan, aren’t you coming a little unhinged? That doesn’t exactly constitute proof, old boy.” Well, then, consider this: I’ve done a little2 linguistic research and just as I suspected, in her native Norsk tongue “Marissa Kristine Gritter” translates as “The all-powerful warrior woman who, because of her endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from gubernatorial debacle to gubernatorial debacle leaving fire in her wake.” I dunno, seems awfully suspicious to me.

1. I.e. Marissa, my sister, my brother-in-law, and Mom.

2. Obviously very little.

5 thoughts on “Fire In Her Wake

  1. I guess I’m lucky you didn’t translate my maiden name. Oh, the secrets you’d have found! But only available to the powerful few!

  2. I found it awfully hard to voice my views about the cartel before my engagement. It’s the equivalent of emotional blackmail: you HAVE to buy the ring, it’s expected.

    Quick way around the problem: renounce the diamond industry just after dropping to one knee.

  3. But then it’s too late to renounce the diamond industry — they’ve already run off with their ill-gotten gains.

    I still like my original idea — show your love *not* by paying thousands of dollars for a lump of unstable carbon, but for helping pay back her school loans or some such. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find someone who would prefer to emotionally blackmail you for the latter.

  4. The tatoo solution is inappropriate because it is too permanent. The engagement ring merely signifies that she has been placed “on hold,” until a specifiable point in the future at which point the purchase will be completed (as signified by a wedding ring), or she once again becomes available.


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