Clarity, Cut, and Culture: The Many Meanings of Diamonds by Susan Falls

By Susan Falls

Images of diamonds look all over the place in American tradition. and everybody who has a diamond has a narrative to inform approximately it. Our tales approximately diamonds not just demonstrate what we do with those tiny stones, but additionally recommend how we create worth, that means, and id via our interactions with fabric tradition in general.

Things turn into significant via our interactions with them, yet how do humans pass approximately making that means? What will we examine from an ethnography concerning the creation of identification, production of kinship, and use of diamonds in figuring out selves and social relationships? by way of what capability do humans situated inside a globalized political-economy and a compelling universe of advertisements engage in the community with those tiny polished rocks?

This ebook attracts on yr of fieldwork with diamond shoppers in big apple urban in addition to an research of the enduring De Beers crusade that promised romance, prestige, and glamour to someone who obtained a diamond to teach that this thematic pool is only one source between many who diamond vendors draw upon to interact with their very own stones. the amount highlights the real roles that reminiscence, context, and condition additionally play in shaping how humans interpret after which use gadgets in making own worlds. It exhibits that in addition to working as topics in an ad-burdened universe, shoppers are hugely artistic, idiosyncratic, and theatrical agents.

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Combining insights garnered from Austin’s work with a focus on linguistic idiosyncrasy (which assumes the individual as the locus of meaning production [Johnstone 1996, 2001]), chapter 6 shows 26 — Introduction how diamonds, like linguistic utterances, are both in and of the world, and as such, are used performatively. ” “The Fullness of Diamonds,” the concluding chapter, revisits questions opened in this introduction, reviews themes suggested by ethnographic materials, and discusses how this framework might be expanded.

Chapter 2 examines how the act of grading choreographs each gem into uniqueness, and thus enhances its market value. Workers doing various jobs in the production process, be they miners, cutters, or retailers, pay particular attention to grading and pricing, but most consumers have a poor grasp of both. The average person cannot distinguish high- versus low-grade, natural versus simulated, fine versus poor, or pricey versus inexpensive diamonds, even with close inspection. Understanding the history and architecture of production is crucial to appreciating how gems are integrated into larger systems, such as labor networks and political relationships, and how they came to have such a visible presence in the United States.

S. market is New York City’s “Diamond Row,” located on Forty-seventh Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, just a few blocks south of Rockefeller Center and close to the high-end stores of Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue. This spot is where my research began. 2. Diamond lamps on Forty-seventh Street in New York City. ) Diamond Row Most diamonds sold in the United States come through the New York market—also called the “bourse,” or “exchange”—inside the Diamond Dealers Club (DDC). In 2004, I visited with a DDC officer who gave me a tour of the trading floor, where packets of polished stones are bought and sold.

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