Jadedisland

Poetry

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Never Be a Diamond (2017)

Written/Edited 02/04/17

There is something I want to say, something a little overly symbolic but with a message you might not consider true or think is silly. I want you to remember to Never be a Diamond. 

 

I promise I'm not completely insane just yet. I grew up with a gemologist. My mother, a first-class lady a little obsessive about rocks and precious stones. I mean 3 of my siblings are named because of it. Let me tell you, if you're ever out with me, don't take me to a jewelry store. I embarrass the employees. It's tragic to see them hustle for a textbook because they don't know the difference between jadite and nephrite. They look surprised that a woman of color as young as I am knows about precious gems and jewelry crafting. Surprised to hear me utter words they only memorized to get certified with. Surprised that I articulate intelligent sentences. Who would have thought right?

So, I told myself that when I’m finically stable I’m not buying diamonds. I can't help it at this point I'm sick of the value of diamonds. I’m sick of seeing the commercials and the bliss over a stone that’s been hyped too long. Why do we love diamonds? The history of diamonds is violent and bloody but its celebrated. For something so valuable there seems to be a lot of it. A lot of translucent little faceted pebbles. Honored for its beauty as a clear stone. Nothing outshines a diamond. Nothing at all. 

Wrong. Rubies, sapphires, emerald, labradorite, quartz, amber, opal, jasper, Turquoise, peridot, garnet, jet... oh I can go on. Look at Tanzanite, Alexandrite, Aquamarine, and Tourmaline

These stones are beautiful. All of them with their various array of colors with flecks of mystery. 

The purest form of beauty and complexity.

Yet diamond is valued for being without color? Why is that? I mean what's the point of valuing diamonds for being colorless. They lab created colored diamonds? Altering the natural beauty of a gem for its lack of color.

Seriously, the next time I hear about the "levian chocolate diamonds" I'm going to explode.

I might be overanalyzing the capitalistic and social value of diamonds, but i get weary of hearing the praise of diamonds, dismissing the beauty and brilliance of other precious stones. 

I suppose right about now you can see why I'm crafting this analogy of diamonds. Their value is acknowledged. The tiniest diamonds, the rough diamonds, & the misshapen diamonds are acknowledged as better than any other precious stone. Almost all of the other stones I listed weigh into our history, have meaning and purpose in art and fashion. These stones symbolize far more traits than a diamond does. They capture myths in their shine, and reflect a purpose once worn by royalty.

Why do we let acknowledgement be the validation for what is beautiful, for what is excellent, for what is ... valuable?

Do not be a diamond sisters & brothers. Acknowledgment from others isn't what makes you excellent but rather the acknowledgement of your own prowess within your self makes you sparkle. We can't live up to these Eurocentric standards when it requires their acknowledgement for validation. We can do better, we can surpass them. Eradicate the system. We can show them that we are not for entertainment but excellent. We shine brighter in color, look at the beauty of diversity around us. We are not limited by the diamond standard of our Eurocentric society. 

We are excellent in our vast facets of brilliance. We don't have to be ashamed or hide what makes us unique and different. We will shine in the light and dark because our excellence is a spectrum of brilliance. I see excellence that doesn’t diminish overtime but flourishes. So do not be a Diamond, and carve out your future in the way you want. I promise that when you do what you love, voice your fierceness, and believe in yourself you’ll be something precious for lifetimes.