An Excerpt from ‘Hey, U Up? (For a Serious Relationship): How to Turn Your Booty Call into Your Emergency Contact,’ by Emily Axford and Brian Murphy

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How to Pick the Perfect Blood Diamond for Your Engagement Ring

So, the two of you are ready to make a lifelong commitment, and you’ve decided to forgo a blood oath ritual in favor of an engagement ring. Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of blood on your hands! A diamond ring is the perfect way to symbolize your eternal love for each other and your eternal indifference to the complicated politics of diamond trafficking. Let’s go shopping!

Other precious stones are surging in popularity, but like the ruthless despots of West Africa, the diamond is still king. Despite easy access to highly detailed information (Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio), the majority of couples still choose diamond engagement rings. It could be that they’re more traditional. It could be that they hate Zimbabwe. Either way, there are a lot of things to think about before buying a luxury item that’s caused immeasurable strife. Mainly, how you can get the prettiest diamond for the best price!

When diamond shopping, you should familiarize yourself with the Four C’s—Clarity, Cut, Color, and Carat—while definitely not familiarizing yourself with the egregious human rights violations taking place in Angolan diamond mines. Now, you probably have a few of questions. Namely, “What do the Four C’s mean?” and, “What is an Angolan diamond mine?” We’ll answer the first part!

Clarity refers to the number and size of the diamond’s imperfections. For example, a diamond with no imperfections is considered flawless, whereas the idea of “conflict free” diamonds is extremely flawed because it only accounts for diamonds illegally sold by rebel armies and not corrupt governments who mistreat their own people. Some diamonds appear flawless to the naked eye, but have minor imperfections under magnification. This is an excellent way to save money on a ring! If it looks good, why look any deeper? Why look beyond the surface of this beautiful diamond and learn the horrifying truth?

Cut, not to be confused with the financial cut that smugglers get by circumventing diamond trade agreements and selling internationally, refers to the diamond’s sparkle. This “sparkle” is the most subjective aspect of the diamond and is difficult to analyze. But just because something is difficult doesn’t mean we should ignore it, right? At least, not when it comes to diamond prettiness! Cuts are ranked from “Poor” to “Excellent,” and if you’re buying a diamond, you certainly don’t want to waste your time worrying about anything that is poor!

Next is Color. The less color in the stone, the more valuable it is. Funny how diamonds mimic so much of society! A diamond with a D rating is completely clear and considered perfect. Interestingly enough, there are no A, B, or C ratings. It’s almost like, no matter how good of a diamond you get, you’re still failing the people of Liberia!

Finally, Carat refers to the size of the diamond. Large stones are very rare, so price increases exponentially with size. At the same time, flaws in the diamond will become more obvious, so bigger isn’t necessarily better. Just ask the rebel armies of Sierra Leone, who are more than happy to force small children to fight in their diamond wars!

Now that you know your Four C’s, how do you apply them to diamond buying? Obviously, you can’t buy a perfect diamond. They’re incredibly rare and expensive. Plus, it would be strange to call anything perfect that puts weapons in the hands of African warlords. Your priorities when buying a diamond should look something like this:

  • Cut
  • Color
  • Clarity
  • Carat
  • Human Lives
  • We know, we know: this list is bound to spark some controversy. You might be one of those people who values clarity more than color. Either way, both sides can agree that a diamond’s overall appearance is far more important than its size or the well-being of people in Third World countries.

    The only thing left now is to pick a shape. For you? We’d suggest a heart!

    Emily Axford and Brian Murphy are the creators and stars of the show Hot Date for the cable network Pop. They both appear on TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything and were staff writers for CollegeHumor. They’re the authors of the satirical relationship advice book, Hey, U Up?, which is available in book stores and on Amazon

    An Excerpt from ‘Hey, U Up? (For a Serious […]