Round 7: DeBeers vs 1-800 Flowers


This is round 7 in our Worst Company in America 2008 contest, DeBeers vs 1-800 Flowers.

DeBeers: Controls over 70% of the world’s diamond mining and has been accused of artificially constricting to diamond supply to inflate prices. Their advertising also teaches us that you’re not a man unless you get your wife or lover the biggest rock you can.

1-800 Flowers: Readers have complained about receiving dead or the completely wrong flowers.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america/

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Starbucks vs United Airlines, Exxon vs Crocs, Google Vs Sony, Ticketmaster vs Wachovia, Facebook vs The American Arbitration Association, Comcast vs Menu Foods

Comments

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  1. No contest. It’s the 1980′s Mike Tyson vs. the bum of the month.

  2. loueloui says:

    Oooh, a tough one. I’m still 7/7 with the majority though. Gotta check my brackets.

  3. Gotta say Debeers, mostly b/c they cost more than dead flowers, and I can always hit up my local supermarket and pick up a decent dozen. Not the same as DeBeers though, what with their ever increasing “month’s salary” figure. I pay the governement with my first 4-5 months of salary, and now, if I don’t want to be castrated in my sleep, Debeers says I better spend 3 months salary on her diamond. I remember when it used to be 1 month.

  4. wrongneighborhood says:

    Seriously Debeers vs. 1-800 Flowers? The evil diamond monopoly vs. the company I use to send flowers to my mother?

  5. Screw Debeers, showing the person you love isnt buying them a chunk of carbon, how you treat that person every day of your life together is love, shiny overpriced rocks are epic fail.

  6. EBounding says:

    DeBeers is a racket. But they probably have the world’s most successful marketing campaign in convincing women that diamonds are valuable and equal Love.

  7. cobaltthorium says:

    3 month’s is ridiculous – why would anyone pay that? Just have some balls and tell her “no”. If she loves you, she won’t care about what diamond she gets.

    What did someone once say – true lovers elope?

  8. rmz says:

    DeBeers for sure. I can’t stand what the diamond industry has done to American culture. He doesn’t love you unless he spends $10,000 on a ring? Uh, right.

    In any case, my wife’s engagement ring was not a diamond, though she was more insistent about that than I was.

  9. Buran says:

    Fortunately, you can buy “artificial” lab-grown diamonds for much less. I’m trying to hint to my bf that I don’t mind having one of those at all especially since I’m a huge geek and find it fascinating how they’re made.

  10. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I ignore diamonds. But I have a permanent grudge against 1-800-F’ingIncompetent for practically ruining my engagement when he and I both used them to send flowers to each other on Valentine’s Day a couple years ago, and neither order was delivered.

  11. NotATool says:

    No, really honey, here’s how this works. I give some crappy monopoly $10,000 and you get this little shiny glittery thing and that proves how much I love you. See, I prove my love for you by giving away all my hard earned cash. Why, you ask? Because the TV said I had to!!

  12. m4ximusprim3 says:

    You guys are all wrong. Speding a quarter of a year’s salary on something an exploited african pulled out of the ground is the only way to show someone you really care.

    wait…

  13. ARP says:

    @m4ximusprim3: Amen. That’s an additional reason why DeBeers is evil. Blood Diamonds are bad.

  14. sleze69 says:

    Looks like I am in the minority. 1-800-Flowers screwed up my order 2 too many times. I’ll never use them again.

    Debeers…well I won’t be dealing with them for a couple months.

  15. ekthesy says:

    Dead people are worse than dead flowers, eh? This is the biggest mismatch yet, Consumerist!

  16. SVreader says:

    Before I get engaged, I plan to drop hints about my dislike of diamonds by brining up how awful the diamond industry is.

  17. BlondeGrlz says:

    Speaking of DeBeers, when do I get that check from the class action lawsuit?

  18. SVreader says:

    @SVreader: Might be hard to do that seamlessly, though. I’ll be all, “You know what I would really hate? Wearing a symbol of exploitation and corporate monopolies! By the way, my ring size is…”

  19. Notsewfast says:

    @Buran:
    Having recently purchased a (much too expensive) engagement ring, and exhausting all of my options, I can tell you that in my search I found that the lab created diamonds were the same price or more expensive than the out-of-the ground sort. Not only that, but getting white stones in sizes over 1 carat is almost impossible. At the end of it I figured if all the money is the same, I might as well buy a rock that will won’t have to be called “lab created”. I wish they had been cheaper though, because I would have gone for the man-made ones in a second.

    In the end I bought from Tiffany’s, so not only am I a sucker, I’m a sucker who paid too much just to get a brand name. You’d think I’d never read the consumerist…

  20. BStu says:

    Another 1 vs 16 match-up. This isn’t the 18th century. Dead Africans trump dead flowers.

  21. anonymousryan says:

    DeBeers without question. First, they have a near monopoly on diamond mining and use it to create an artificial scarcity about diamonds driving the price up. Second, their evil (yet successful) marketing campaigns created the idea of diamond engagement rings as a necessity and are the reason diamonds are almost never resold. Third, the activities of the original founders of DeBeers makes Ford look like Mother Theresa (if she weren’t an anti-semite, as well).

  22. ekthesy says:

    @Buran:

    Or do what I did and go with completely different stones altogether. My wife and I met with a jeweler and had a custom ring made with emeralds and aquamarine (our birthstone) for less than $4,000.

  23. freshwater says:

    If you want a non-blood diamond, you can get yourself a Canadian
    diamond. Not only do the miners survive, but Canada has been standing
    up to DeBeers for years. Plus, they have micro-engraved maple leaves on
    them. Which is neat.

    Or, you could save yourself thousands of dollars and get something other than a diamond.

  24. utensil42 says:

    I’m not a huge fan of diamonds, and would prefer an engagement ring that isn’t a diamond, but, a diamond is the best choice for an engagement ring because it is the strongest gem. You can wear the ring everyday and it will not chip, crack, break, scratch, etc. To me, that is the reason (and only reason) to wear a diamond. Especially for an engagement or wedding ring which you will presumably wear all the time. But yeah, DeBeers sucks.

  25. dripdrop says:

    @Git Em SteveDave:

    Last I heard it was two months’ salary. I better inform my boyfriend of this news!

  26. AaronZ says:

    @BStu: “Another 1 vs 16 match-up. This isn’t the 18th century. Dead Africans trump dead flowers.”

    You’d think that would be the logic, but rembmer that poor internet service beat out dead pets in Comcast vs Pet Food like 5-to-1.

    Still, I went with da-beers. I have my pick of flower places, but almost no choice for diamonds. Not that I buy much of either.

  27. utensil42 says:

    @utensil42: And for me, that matters because I am a klutz and would surely destroy what I really want, a pearl ring.

  28. I like diamonds. But I would not want a guy to spend 3 months salary to buy me one. Only spend what you can afford, baby!

  29. Bladefist says:

    @dripdrop: I heard it was 3. But I like your idea better.

    Guys you gotta start lying about salary as soon as you meet them.

  30. CRNewsom says:

    @freshwater: Because DeBeers doesn’t have any diamond mines in Canada. I’m sure if they did, they wouldn’t call them anything like Snap Lake Mine or Victor Mine.

    @utensil42: I got my fiancée a three stone ring (small diamonds on side, large center green sapphire, to match her eyes) for $1,300. A pretty good deal if you ask me, since a 1 1/4 carat diamond would have cost me ten times as much.

  31. cuiusquemodi says:

    In relative terms (regarding consumers): 1-800 Flowers. I read a hell of a lot more stories involving flowers on this blog than I do diamonds. Most of what they get wrong is really more a question of inconvenience than anything else. No one ever died because of 1-800 Flowers.

    In absolute terms, no question, DeBeers.

  32. utensil42 says:

    @CRNewsom: Not denying diamonds are ridiculously overpriced and for many people not at all worth it. I’d be terrified of damaging that sapphire if it was my ring though.

  33. I’m sorry but flowers and diamonds are rediculous. If I can ever meet a good geek guy I would never want him to buy me flowers or diamonds because its just plain frivolous.

  34. Parting says:

    @utensil42: And they you can sell it off in case of divorce and make money =0

  35. Dervish says:

    @Buran: After my husband proposed with a beautifully modest diamond ring, he mentioned that he had looked into buying a lab-made diamond because I would think it was cool. Unfortunately, either the technology wasn’t yet commercialized or it was too expensive, as Secret Agent Man said. If you haven’t already read it, [www.wired.com] is a really neat article.

  36. nuttycakes says:

    @Secret Agent Man: But at least Tiffany’s diamonds are not blood diamonds and don’t use dirty gold. They also are significant donors to organizations promoting social responsibility and good liberal ideas.

  37. bonzombiekitty says:

    I’ve already informed my SO that she should never expect me to buy her a diamond anything. I’ll get prolly any other gemstone but I dislike diamonds on multiple levels. She’s not very fond of that idea tho.

    Although I might be willing to bend a bit on lab grown diamonds.

  38. starrion says:

    Don’t forget the debeers class action settlement if you bought between 94-06.

    Up to 45% of your $ back. If you don’t claim it, who knows what lawyer will end up with it.

  39. Michael Belisle says:

    Remember that it’s not an accident that diamonds have very little resale value. Oh and that DeBeers invented the nearly-unquestioned coupling of marriage and diamonds. The plan was brilliant:

    Step 1. Buy all the known diamond mines.
    Step 2. Convince the huddled masses that “A diamond is forever” along with “it’s mandatory” and “the number of months you go starve to buy it is directly proportional how much you love her.”
    Step 3. Profit.
    Step 4. Run a few TV ads around Valentine’s day.
    Step 5. See step 3.

  40. Bladefist says:

    @cuiusquemodi: Are you suggesting that people shouldn’t die so rich American women can wear sparkley things on their fingers? You disgust me. :)

    In all seriousness, this is one of those, blame the consumer instances. We keep buying this crap and propagating these problems.

  41. jmuskratt says:

    Diamond propaganda aside, there are far better reasons to hate DeBeers. 1-800-Flowers.com doesn’t have a “human rights” PR section on its website.

  42. bonzombiekitty says:

    I had heard a while back that due to it’s near monopoly on the diamond industry, DeBeers can’t directly do business in the US. Is that true? If it is, then wouldn’t that disqualify it from the contest?

  43. CRNewsom says:

    @utensil42: It’s interesting that you’re worried about scratching a sapphire. They are a 9.0 on the Mohs hardness scale (diamond is 10.0), and Rolex (and a number of other rather pricey watchmakers) use them for their crystals due to their scratch resistant properties.

  44. BlondeGrlz says:

    @Secret Agent Man: You know, if you’re having second thought you can always propose to me. All that talk of Tiffany diamonds…is it hot in here?

  45. cheddarpants says:

    When buying a diamond, don’t buy retail! There are wholesalers out there who sell to the public. Find one, and get it there.

  46. holocron says:

    @starrion: Oh, I’ve already put in my claim. But where did you come up with the “up to 45%” back?

  47. Ghede says:

    What is up with all the one-sided fights? Why don’t you pit two companies that require some… thought in the first round?

  48. holocron says:

    @starrion: I already put in my claim. But where did you come up with the “up to 45%” back?

  49. freshyill says:

    They’re off their fucking rockers if they think anybody is actually spending two months’ salary. That would mean I’d be shelling out almost $10,000?

    DeBeers: A diamond is forever, but $10,000 is a year’s rent.

  50. jeff303 says:

    Diamonds: she’ll pretty much have to

  51. freshyill says:

    @bonzombiekitty: I guess all those diamon commercials I see on TV are for the other DeBeers.

  52. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    DeBeers. Blood diamonds = evil. On a related note 1800flowers has actually sent good flowers the few times I’ve used them. Maybe I live close to one of their shipping locations.

  53. freshyill says:

    @Ghede: Yeah, speaking of which, why was 1 seed Kansas up against poor little 16 seed Portland State?

    Um, that’s the way these tournaments work. It’s set up so the crappy contestants get the boot early, and the scrappers in the middle get to fight it out for a chance to take on the giants.

  54. Notsewfast says:

    @nuttycakes: Good point. I guess I’m less of a sucker in that respect, plus any chance you get to make a woman literally pee her pants with excitement should be taken full advantage of.

    @blondegrlz: I’ll keep that in mind.

    @cheddarpants: I did that too! I got connected with a guy who was able to give me good prices on rings/bands, but I was hoping to be able to pick my style so i looked at loose stones, but they all ended up pricing about the same everywhere. I think it’s a really good idea to go with a wholesaler if you just want a ring, but not if you want something very specific.

  55. SpenceMan01 says:

    Do what I did: Find a lady with smaller hands. You can get away with buying a smaller (cheaper) diamond. You don’t want a huge-ass rock sitting on a small, petite hand. It looks poorly proportioned.

    Also, my #1 tip for diamond shopping: Avoid the mall stores like the plague. There are places out there where you can get a better stone for the same price (or less).

  56. Angryrider says:

    $10,000 will make an entire family happy.
    A diamond will make one woman happy.
    Your choice.

  57. EDogII says:

    Debeers is just plain evi

  58. catskyfire says:

    Amazing. So many peoples views are based on a dislike of an long-standing marketing plant. It’s not like DeBeers invented the ‘x months salary’ thing in the last year.

    As a note, DeBeers tries to avoid the blood diamonds. They have their own mines, such as in South Africa, as well as some off-shore items. The majority of their business isn’t even for the consumer market. Most diamonds are for the industrial side of things.

    One question: Can a company be eligible for ‘worst company in America’ when their headquarters is in South Africa?

  59. DrGirlfriend says:

    @jmuskratt: I’m with you.

    deBeers FT”W”

  60. fuzzymuffins says:

    i’ve used 1800flowers a few times to good success. and i can even say that the roses they sent lasted far longer than the local shop. unless they’re being picked by 13 year old slave labor…

    f the diamond industry all together. it’s corrupt.

    love transcends all materialistic bribery. most people don’t get that.

  61. Michael Belisle says:

    It’s too bad that if DeBeers wins it all (as they quite-possibly should), there’s not nearly enough DeBeers news to go around. They’re like a puppetmaster: you only see the hands when they mess up the illusion.

    It’s tragic, really.

  62. Stanwell says:

    To echo what CRNewsom said…not much is harder than diamond, but gemstones are still pretty hard. On the Mohs scale, sapphire and ruby are 9, emerald around 8, garnet around 7, hardened steel around 7-8, and opal around 5.5. My mother’s 40 year old opal engagement ring has held up pretty well…though she DOES take it off when she’s in the kitchen.

  63. Sudonum says:

    @Michael Belisle:
    Maybe my mother-in-laws diamond is the exception, but my FiL bought it 20 years ago for $18k. My wife got it when her mother recently died, had it appraised for $80k, and the jeweler who did the appraisal offered her $60k for it on the spot.

  64. NightSteel says:

    I got my wife one of those lab-grown diamonds (they call them cultured diamonds) for her engagement ring. It wasn’t enormous or anything, but it was a high quality stone. Maybe I didn’t save a lot of money, but the price was right and as someone else mentioned, I can be sure that it’s not a blood diamond. I got it from Apollo Diamond and I liked it so much, I’m probably going to get her another one.

  65. Kishi says:

    No question, DeBeers.

    Back when we were still dating, I made it clear to my wife that she’d never get a diamond from me. Fortunately, I’m convincing, and she finds my little rants entertaining, or endearing, or something like that. I’ve already made other promises that I’ll have to live up to later, but I’m perfectly happy with that.

  66. no.no.notorious says:

    i read a book a while ago about the chocolate industry in the early 1900s, how they enslaved africans to work on cocoa farms under harsh conditions…many of them end up dying from mal-nutrition or being killed by a british solider for trying to escape (which still happens today, but this book was about the cadbury company way back when)

    i image the diamond industry is alot like this but worse. debeers.

  67. @cheddarpants: Definitely do that!!!! I bought from an online wholesaler. It was 1 carat certified (w/all the papers to prove it) with good clarity, color and cut (can’t remember the specifics)for about 2k. Since I bought it online I was terrified and took it to a jeweler to have it appraised. They valued it at $4,400.

  68. Balisong says:

    Really? No mention of slave labor? That’s my #1 reason I’d vote for DeBeers over all other competition, including Comcast. But hey, children dying in diamond mines halfway around the world? Who cares, I missed the latest episode of Lost because my cable went all screwy! *Le sob*

  69. EJXD2 says:

    My problem with the diamond trade involves the premium on buying retail. Why are diamonds like cars? When I walk out of that store, my $5,000 diamond is suddenly worth $2,500. I don’t get that concept.

    I don’t mind diamonds, though. They can look good in the right setting. I appreciate that they’re not for everyone or that some people prefer other stones, but people who act cool because they’d “never get a diamond” are just obnoxious.

  70. freshyill says:

    @SpenceMan01: Good, bad, they’re all essentially worthless.

  71. utensil42 says:

    @CRNewsom: I didn’t know that sapphires were so strong. Clearly I should speak with a reputable jeweler before my boyfriend buys the ring.

  72. Michael Belisle says:

    @Sudonum: It’s possible that it’s not an exception; that article is 25 years old and mostly of interest for the details of DeBeer’s brilliant strategy. Google tells me that appreciation is normal. I guess the return depends on how savvy the purchaser was.

    But I hope your wife didn’t sell it on the spot to the same person who did the appraisal? (Whatever you did, I’m sure you considered it thoroughly and made the right decision based on your circumstances.)

  73. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m trying to imagine Sean Connery bedding Tiffany Case to stop Blofeld from destroying Earth with an orbiting floral bouquet, and failing.
    Nonetheless, it’s DeBeers for me.

  74. startertan says:

    I guess if it were a year ago I would’ve voted for 1-800-FLOWERS but since I saw the documentary on the History Channel about DeBeers and since I guess you could say that their artificial supply constricting indirectly causes some of the crap that goes on in Sierra Leone I’m throwing in for DeBeers. Also, I’m getting ready to buy a rock soon and I’m not looking forward to paying for it.

  75. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Can a company be eligible for ‘worst company in America’ when their headquarters is in South Africa?

    @catskyfire: Yes. Sony and Toshiba are in this too.

  76. dadelus says:

    In the immortal words of Ron White.

    DIAMONDS!!!!

    That’ll shut her up!

  77. flyingphotog says:

    Proflowers.com should be here instead of 1-800-Flowers. My order (2 doz roses) for my wife all died within 3 days. I worked in a florist in college and roses were supposed to last a good week or longer.

    When I completed their satisfaction survey I told them I thought they had a poor product. They did call me and offered to replace the order, which they did. So they get bonus points for that. Yet when the replacement order arrived, these flowers also died in about 4 days. I will not be giving them any more of my business. I get better flowers at the grocery store, because I can choose them myself.

    If you don’t know how to pick a good rose, it’s kind of like picking a woman. Give the hips a little squeeze, and if it’s nice and firm, it’s a keeper! If it feels soft and wilted, move on and make another choice.

  78. Maxichamp says:

    Just watched a BBC News piece on DeBeers in Botswana. The company made sure every “manager” interviewed was black African. Give their PR department a raise!

  79. spinachdip says:

    @catskyfire: They do business in America, so yeah, I’d say they are a company in America.

    Plus, they settled that price-fixing suit a couple of years ago, so their execs can freely walk the streets of America!

  80. Corydon says:

    “A diamond is forever”

    The funny thing is that they aren’t.

    One of the useless bits of trivia I seem to remember from chemistry class is that diamonds are an unstable carbon allotrope and will eventually (over a very, VERY long time) turn into graphite and normal temperature and pressure.

    I always thought it would be amusing for someone to sue DeBeers for false advertising over that :)

  81. starrion says:

    @holocron:

    I think at 10K or above, the absolute most you could get back was 45%. I think it scales down depending on how many people apply.

  82. DeBeers is definitely worse for all the aforementioned reasons, but I have to mention that recently, I sent a woman I was seeing a bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day via 1-800-Flowers, and they simply were never delivered. No notification of delay or delivery issues or anything of the sort — they simply did not show up, although my card was charged in full. When I finally realized what had happened, I called and they admitted the flowers weren’t delivered, but could offer no explanation. The money was refunded, along with a $21 coupon off my next order, which I will never use. Avoid!

  83. consumerd says:

    I spent only at most $500 on my wife’s ring, and she cherishes it more than anything.

    Am I cheap? maybe… but then again it’s the thought that counts not the ring!

  84. KarmaChameleon says:

    I have to go with DeBeers. No one ever died for a bouquet, except maybe the flowers.

    1-800 Flowers is a ripoff though. A far better solution for sending flowers to someone not in your area is to Google around for a florist local to them and arrange for delivery. It’s far cheaper, and you’ll generally get a better selection and fresher flowers. I’ve used this method with great success.

  85. What is with these lopsided polls?

  86. Kilotonne says:

    @utensil42: Actually, sapphire (corundum), along with rubies, is an extremely hard mineral, you can’t scratch it.

  87. sporks says:

    WTF? Dead roses or blood diamonds? Not even on the same scale. Frankly, I don’t give a crap about someone getting the wrong flowers. What I do care about is the large numbers of innocent children and adults being forced into slavery to mine diamonds and being maimed or killed in the process. I’d rather get wilted roses than a dead kid any day.

  88. I’ve had my sapphire engagement ring for quite a while now, I don’t take it off for any activity, and it has yet to scratch. And it’s gorgeous.

  89. Claystil says:

    DeBeers’ practices cost lives. Their inflation of diamond value and tight control of the diamond market have created circumstances that make it reasonable for people in diamond rich regions to finance civil war and arms trade with diamonds as both the currency and the end-goal. Simply in areas of conflict, if you control diamonds, you control guns, power and government. The kimberly process helps, but not by a lot. I’d say DeBeers is pretty high in the running for worst company in the world.

  90. spinachdip says:

    @KarmaChameleon: Doesn’t 1-800 Flowers ship from local florists anyway? so it’s the same flowers you’d get from a local florist, except you’re adding an unneccessary middleman.

    I second going directly to the local florist, but I’d also recommend getting shipped directly from the grower.

  91. LintySoul says:

    I certainly agree that DeBeers is quite up there on the evil scale, mining, deaths, exploitation, thats some bad stuff.
    But as far as 1800 Flowers goes, I more question their flower selection practices. Where do the flowers come from? Is the “local” seller using harsh pesticides on their flowers? Not only are the “cides” bad for your health, they are certainly no good for the land there are sprayed upon. I have had a few friends in the flower business and they would often have slight rashes or respiratory afflictions. They would shrug those symptoms off as “expected job risk”.
    The story of flower farm workers begins to blend in with the story of many farm workers all over the world, questionable employee treatment, and questionable land stewardship practices.

  92. 22rifle says:

    @speedwell:

    shallow relaionship huh?

  93. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @22rifle: Still with the man 10+ years later, so I suppose we could tolerate each other for a while, eh?

  94. Sudonum says:

    @Michael Belisle: She won’t sell it for sentimental reasons. The appraisal was for insurance purposes. It was also a highly reputable jeweler.

  95. mrmcd says:

    This really isn’t a contest at all. The Diamond industry is probably the only truly evil industry in this world.

    Name one other company that that sells a completely useless product nobody needs, at absurdly inflated prices while propping up their market with a monopoly enforced by violence, political corruption, psychological manipulation, criminal activity, and slavery. Just one.

    Christ, even Halliburton makes a few useful products that aren’t designed for killing people.

  96. awa64 says:

    I had to place my vote for 1-800-Flowers, solely on technicality–while DeBeers may possibly be the most evil company in the entire competition, most of their evil is perpetrated internationally, and this is about the worst company in *America*.

  97. spinachdip says:

    @awa64: As I mentioned above De Beers does business in America. Why the hell would you restrict the competition to only companies headquartered in America? Location of a company’s headquarters has no effect on its impact to consumers – does it matter that Daimler has sold off its interest in Chrysler? Would you also rule out companies if majority of their shares were held by foreign investors? I don’t get this arbitrary “they’re not headquartered in America so I won’t vote for them” thing.

    @mrmcd: Funny you should mention Halliburton. I’ve heard good things about briefcases made by Zero Halliburton.*

    *Not affiliated with the defense contractor that gave a big fat golden parachute to Dick Cheney, I don’t think.

  98. JustaConsumer says:

    DeBeers has blood on their hands. They may be the worst company in the world.

  99. brandymb says:

    Screw 1800Flowers! Try being a retail florist and have them. They are absolutely horrible to deal with. I could give you 100 incidents, but I gotta go to work in the morning…

  100. WraithSama says:

    @Git Em SteveDave:

    As I was reading the article, I had that very scene from Family Guy going through my head. ;)

  101. nardo218 says:

    Um, hello, blood diamonds? The state of the Congo in the 70s is a bit more important than your hetero courtship rituals.

  102. deadlizard says:

    The St Valentine’s massacre poll! It’s a wate of time. Neither would make it a round past this one.

  103. Gooz2 says:

    All I have to say is two words…Blood Diamond…well, maybe more than two words lol! My husband got me a $125 wedding ring and that was specifically because I’m not feeling the whole dying over a rock thing. I mean seriously…what is the big deal with diamonds?! The fact that people are enslaved, dying, highway robbed, etc. should make the appeal a lot lower! So you’re going to tell me that this shiny rock you found in the dirt is really worth $10,000 and I’m going to buy it?! Come on! I guess the human life value that was spent has to be refunded some how…DeBeers is definitely the worst. And as for flowers!! What’s the point of those too! I mean…they die in like 8 days…LAME! Okay, I’m done.

  104. Dabeers hands down for the reasons above and their past blood diamond problems.. It should be noted though that Blood Diamonds or “conflict diamonds” are not much of an issue today..

    Most of this issue ended in the 90s. Though it is still a problem today, The Cocoa industry is currently much more at fault for things like child slave labor.

  105. bluewyvern says:

    Can we have a little italicized disclaimer on every one of these posts explaining how seeding works, so we can stop the “these contests are so lopsided, WTF???” comments? You know, like did with the “taking it seriously” posts so people would stop asking why you were posting them…

  106. ganzhimself says:

    @Buran:

    Diamond Nexus makes some amazing lab made diamonds. I bought my fiancée one and she absolutely loves it. It’s virtually indistinguishable from a “real” diamond. Instead of dropping serious coin on a 2 carat “real” diamond, that money went right into the wedding fund.

  107. johnva says:

    @ganzhimself: Except that they are CZ, not “man made diamonds”. That’s fine if that’s what you want (and I totally understand wanting to save the money), but know what you’re buying.

    There are also “real” man-made diamonds, which are chemically indistinguishable from a natural diamond. These, unlike the CZ sold by places like “Diamond Nexus”, ARE a diamond. They just aren’t dug out of the ground. But they’re just about as expensive as a natural diamond. Good option if you just don’t want to support DeBeers (although of course there are also other choices there, like Canadian diamonds). Bad option if you want to save money.

  108. ganzhimself says:

    @johnva:

    That is true. Honestly, no one can tell the difference by just looking at it… And they’re guaranteed for a lifetime, if I remember correctly, so that’s always a good thing.

  109. stre says:

    @Papa Midnight: maybe they’re seeded like the NCAA Basketball Tourney. The best against the worst for the most part. Except there’s less likelihood for an upset because it’s unlikely that 1-800-Flowers will magically become a monopoly and start running a business that appears to be killing people.

  110. IrisMR says:

    I don’t care about neither flowers nor diamonds, but I think that on a small scale, the flowers is the worst. That’s one thing you need to get on time.

  111. tagline0 says:

    1800 is the worst because they take about 30% of every order for themselves and give the balance to a REAL florist to fill the order. Why not order directly from the REAL florist? Why do people order from a broker?
    Diamonds and other jewelry come in many sizes to fit all budgets from no diamond to several carats. It is your choice but at least you know you are getting a REAL diamond when you buy Debeers.
    Ken

  112. johnva says:

    @ganzhimself: Just wanting to clarify, because that site uses some “vague” language in an attempt to give the impression that they ARE real lab-made diamonds. They also seem very expensive for CZ. But like I said, if you’re happy with it, that’s cool. Just pointing out that even for CZ jewelry it pays to do your homework and shop around.

  113. morsteen says:

    that crystal thing on the right there kinda looks like that thing from the flgith of the navigator movie haha.

  114. wow, i guess nobody knows that DeBeers settled a class action lawsuit and agreed to compensate everyone who bought a diamond between x date and y date. i forget the specifics, but each consumer made out pretty nicely.

  115. LUV2CattleCall says:

    “If people really love each other, then they give each other the real stone,” he says, during an interview at council headquarters on the Hoveniersstraat in Antwerp. “It is not a symbol of eternal love if it is something that was created last week.”

    Sums up why DeQueers got my vote.

  116. JDAC says:

    1800 flowers screwed up my valentines day order, but they gave my money back.

    DeBeers is evil personified.