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The value of things

Is it just me, or are the value of some things just overinflated? I don't mean things like on Ebay, like Paris Hilton's used underwear. I mean things that everyone takes for granted are valuable.

Take gold, for instance. Sure, it's kinda sorta pretty. But it's heavy and it's not very useful except as an electrical conductor. And I know from experience it gets worn down pretty easily. I have a gold coin ring* I found in a box of costume jewelry, and it's not in good shape anymore. It wasn't wonderful to start with, though. Lots and lots of tiny holes worn in it.

Then diamonds. I can't tell the difference between a diamond and a piece of cut quartz. They look exactly alike. Why are diamonds prized? They're not especially pretty, even. The only thing they're good for is drill bits and other cutting things, being as they're the hardest known natural substance. But yeah, they're not pretty. I prefer colored gems. Emeralds I can understand.

Those two things are all I can think of right now. But I'm sure there are other things.

* Duh, WTF? COIN?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
beginnings_end
May. 10th, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC)
Interesting way of looking at it. I never had any real gold, so I'm not sure why it's so valuable. Everything I have is sterling silver and that seems to bend so easily. But I think it's pretty. I think diamonds are pretty because when they're cut, they shine with more colors than quartz.

That's the only reason I can think of.
fayanora
May. 11th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
Silver I can understand. It's not much prettier than polished steel, but it's got antiseptic properties and so it's responsible for why rich kids in the past didn't die as often as poor kids, because the silver spoons they ate from killed a lot of germs.

Plus, silver was once used in film. Dunno if it is anymore or not.

I think diamonds are pretty because when they're cut, they shine with more colors than quartz.
That's the only reason I can think of.


I suppose.

Thought of one last night: platinum. Why is platinum valuable? Steel, silver, platinum, chrome, they're all silvery. Why the different values?
beginnings_end
May. 10th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
Opal's my favorite btw, my birthstone. I have a nice one that shines with lots of color and it wasn't too expensive at all.
fayanora
May. 11th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
*Looks up opal* Ooooooh!

My birthstone is ruby.
consortofvenus
May. 10th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
Part of it is the rarity of such material compared to others. And in capitalism, we needed something of value. It's people and tradition that keep it going.
fayanora
May. 11th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
*Nods*
scwizard
May. 11th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Well if diamonds were bigger you could do useful things with them.

Ever small diamonds and diamond are good for many crafts.

The only reason diamond jewelry is worth anything though is because of advertising.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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