Every Kiss Begins with Konspiracy

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Sometimes, during the sparkly onslaught of holiday-season diamond commercials, someone you know might remark that diamonds aren’t inherently very valuable and that there’s a conspiracy among diamond dealers to keep supply low and demand high.

As Edward Jay Epstein detailed in this classic Atlantic article from the archives, that conspiracy not only exists—it goes way, way deeper than you ever imagined.

It’s quite long, but even just skimming it, you’ll find all sorts of strange antidotes to the current bombardment of jewelry ads, from society-shifting marketing campaigns disguised as journalism to the time in the ’70s when Israeli dealers went rogue and almost collapsed the global diamond market.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →