When I proposed to my now wife I did so, as is traditional, with a diamond ring. It wasn’t a very large diamond, but it was as big as I could afford.
It did, however, have a couple of things going for it.
Firstly, it had a GIA certificate which proved that it wasn’t mined in a conflict zone by an eight year old. These things are worth considering when declaring your undying love.
Secondly, it was a Russian cut which, as anyone who knows anything about diamonds understands, is very good. Apparently.
I was thinking recently about why we give diamonds to show someone that they are the person we wish to spend our entire lives with. It seems strange to pick out this one form of matter and no other as the required deal maker when getting hitched.
Well, I suppose there’s the obvious monetary value placed upon them. It symbolically represents the love you have for someone by giving them a very expensive sparkly thing rather than buying yourself a PlayStation and an X-Box. Sacrifice in the name of love if ever there was one.
However, I’m not sure this is the most convincing argument in the modern world. It smacks of trying to buy love and we all know what you call people who you can buy love from.
That’s right. Actors.
Looking at it again and it strikes me that diamonds are really hard – I mean really hard. You’ve never heard of a diamond losing a fight, have you? That solidity has undoubted metaphorical meanings, it surely alludes to the idea of eternal love. You are in essence handing over a chunk of crushed universe which, let’s be honest, is far more profound than a half finished packet of Tim-Tams and a vague promise of a back rub.
It is a symbol. A rock that anchors your commitment to one person, regardless of the machinations wind and tide.
Unlike the real diamond though, this metaphorical one grows larger. The more our son becomes his own person, the more we seem to love him. The more we see together, the more the love for my wife deepens.
This growing love seems uncanny. When I first held the boy I was sure that I couldn’t love anything any more than I loved him in that moment. This was wholly naive.
When we were first married we felt our lives complete. Who even knew that this rock had room for another tether, let alone one so large and secure as the cable that connects the three of us?
The other day I came home from work walked through the nursery door and saw my wife saying “daddy” over and over again.
My son looked up at me, smiled and said “addy”.
He had been repeating it over and over all afternoon – it was the first time I had heard it. My heat melted.
Moments like this only serve to make my love ever stronger, for our rock to expand ever further and for me to appreciate that ‘maximal love’ is a nonsense. Love, it occurs to me, is more like a mine – the further in you go, the more clusters of precious gems are uncovered.
Ultimately though, I think we must give diamonds not for the money they cost, but for the profundity they represent. They are solid and fixed, but every movement of the hand brings a new way for light to fall through them; a new lustre to their flickering reflections.
Every change only adds to their beauty making them seem that much more precious.
And in that way, they represent love more successfully than anything else could.
If you’d like to help me to buy more diamonds whilst also reading
stupid amusing stories about my bumbling attempts at being a father, than you might like to consider buying my book. Click on the image to go to amazon.co.uk