The Tradition Of Engagement Rings Is Barely A Tradition At All. Guess Who Started It.

A century of advertising has "Inception"-ed us so hard. Everything about the ring is a racket. The video contains some NSFW dialogue.

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Boyfriend: You've made me the happiest man in the world. Emily, will you marry me?

Narrator: How sweet. You like it, so you're putting a ring on it. But, have you ever wondered why we put diamond rings on things we like, at all?

Emily: Oh, God. You're going to tell us the awful truth about engagement rings, aren't you?

Adam Conover: Yeah, I am. Hi, I'm Adam Conover, and you may think of the diamond engagement ring as a timeless symbol of love, but it turns out this ancient tradition was invented less than a century ago by the De Beers Diamond Corporation. Before the 1930's, nobody exchanged diamond rings when they. It wasn’t engaged, it wasn't a thing.

Frank: Apple? What do you say we get married?

Apple: Oh, that's a swell idea, Frank. What'll you give me?

Frank: Well, I got this apple.

Apple: Sold. Oh, I love you, Frank.

Adam Conover: But, in 1938, the De Beers Diamond cartel launched a massive ad campaign, claiming that the only way for a real man to show his love is with an expensive hunk of crystallized carbon, and we bought that shit.

Frank: Now, hold on, looks like if I don't buy you one of these ring dailies, then I'm a tiny peck of pencil-nick.

Apple: Well, it's on the side of a building, so it's got to be true.

Frank: Well, carrumphs.

Adam Conover: In fact, every element of the traditional American engagement was designed to make more money for De Beers. How much did you drop on that rock?

Boyfriend: I don't know, like four grand?

Emily: Jesus-Louise-us, that's more than your car.

Boyfriend: My dad said the rule was 2-month’s salary.

Adam Conover: Yeah, sorry, dude, that's not a rule, that's just an arbitrary number from an old De Beers ad campaign.

Actor: Buy her a diamond worth one-month's salary. She'll be sure to love you eternally.

Executive: Ah, profits are down. Better make it two months.

Adam Conover: This has got to be the most successful ad campaign of all time. This is like if, in 50 years, people are were going...

Man: Oh, honey, the same thing again?

Woman: Yeah, you know that old rule, pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper-time. When pizza's on a bagel, you must eat pizza all the time.

Boyfriend: Well, it's not like that I'm throwing my money away, I mean, at least the ring is worth something.

Adam Conover: Actually, yeah, diamonds are intrinsically worthless.

Emily: I refuse to believe that.

Adam Conover: Well, maybe you'd believe de Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer, who once said, quote, "Diamonds are intrinsically worthless."

Boyfriend: Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.

Adam Conover: In fact, they're quite common. The only reason diamonds are even expensive is that De Beers has a global monopoly on diamond mining and they artificially restrict the supply, to jack the prices up. But, in reality, those assholes have a fuck ton of them.

Salesman: These are extremely rare. Pay no attention to that.

Adam Conover: Which means that diamond you just blew your savings on has virtually no resale value. That's why De Beers wants you to think a diamond is forever. If you never try to sell it, you'll never figure out how badly you got fucked.

Boyfriend: Fine, so what do we do about it?

Adam Conover: Nothing. They've got us by the balls. A century of advertising has embedded the idea of a diamond engagement ring so deeply in our culture that, even knowing all that, doesn't get you out of buying an engagement ring. Seriously, give it a shot.

Boyfriend: Okay. Emily, will you marry me? I'm not giving you a ring because the concept of engagement ring is a scam on the part of the De Beers Corporation. But, we could open a joint checking account?

Emily: Sorry, dude. I want that rock.

Boyfriend: Fuck, well, thanks, man.

Adam Conover: No problem. Join me next time on "Adam Ruins Life's Greatest Pleasures", when I'll be talking about how puppies only pretend to love you in order to mooch off your food supply.

Emily: Who hurt you?

Adam Conover: Hey there, if you liked that video, click to subscribe.

Salesman: Where you going? Those are...these are...

Adam Conover: It's a scam, man. Come on.

Salesman: I know, they're fake. Why are you taking them?

Adam Conover: I thought we were still in the video.

Salesman: No, it's done. It's over. Just, please click. Hope you liked it. Where you going? Don't...

There may be small errors in this transcript.
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This video was created by CollegeHumor and Adam Conover. Watch more videos on the CollegeHumor YouTube page.

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