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Diamonds Are No Longer A Girl's Best Friend
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 1-7-2006 | Chris Hastings - Stephanie Plentl - Beth Jones

Posted on 01/06/2007 7:44:37 PM PST by blam

Diamonds are no longer a girl's best friend

By Chris Hastings, Stephanie Plentl and Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:29am GMT 07/01/2007

Diamonds have been synonymous with Hollywood glamour since Marilyn Monroe declared them to be a girl's best friend in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. But now a new generation of Hollywood stars is shunning the stones as a new film exposes the darker side of the international diamond trade.

Blood Diamond tells the story of forced-labour diamond mines

For the first time in the 79-year history of the Oscars, certain kinds of diamond will be absent from the annual prize-giving ceremony. Normally the awards, which will take place on February 25, are awash with sparkling stones, with some stars even choosing to wear them on their shoes.

But now many of the biggest names in Hollywood are asking agents and diamond experts to ensure they are not photographed wearing illicit diamonds.

The backlash against the stones has led to diamonds being dubbed the "new fur", as stars increasingly try to make sure that they are not wearing anything that might be regarded as unethical.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly, the stars of Blood Diamond, as well as Kayne West, the rap artist, the models Iman and Erin O'Connor – the face of Marks and Spencer – are leading the backlash. Blood Diamond, part of which was filmed in London's Hatton Garden diamond district, is set in civil war-ravaged Sierra Leone and tells the story of forced-labour diamond mining companies.

The success of the film, which has already opened in America and comes to UK cinemas at the end of the month, has led to an upsurge in demand for so-called conflict-free diamonds, which carry a certificate of confirmation that their trade is not connected with war, civil strife or human rights abuses.

Gaia Geddes, the jewellery editor at Harper's Bazaar, said: "You have the Oscars and Baftas coming up, and that's when the stars wear very big rocks. This year there will be a lot of focus on conflict-free diamonds and a lot of people will take a stand, just like they did with fur."

Connelly, 36, who plays a journalist in the movie, made a point of wearing "conflict-free" diamonds to the film's American premiere last month.

"I think what I got out of the film is a desire to be a more ethnical consumer," she said. "I did some research and there are companies like Bulgari, like Tiffany, that are striving to be clean and accountable and that provide written guarantees that their diamonds are conflict-free.

Iman pulled out of her contract as the face of De Beers

"No one is saying boycott diamonds but [buyers] can be pro-active and go to their jewellers and say, 'Can you show me a certificate? Can you give me a verifiable warranty that these diamonds are conflict-free?'"

Jane Fonda, the double Oscar-winning actress and friend of the film's producer, Paula Weinstein, has also revealed how she has made sure she only wears conflict-free diamonds.

African tribes in conflict with the diamond industry are actively targeting the world's celebrities in a bid to win them over. Last year, Bushmen in the Kalahari in dispute with De Beers wrote an open letter in Variety to DiCaprio, seeking his support.

Eileen Kelly, the manager of Abiba, a jeweller in Hatton Garden, said: "Recently we have had more and more customers come into the shop because of publicity about the film and ask where the diamonds have come from. We can say that we do not sell conflict diamonds. For the past year we have quite clearly printed on our receipts that our diamonds are conflict-free."

The campaign against the diamond trade had been building up even before the release of Blood Diamond. In 2004 Iman, who is married to the singer David Bowie, pulled out of her contract as the face of De Beers in protest at what she claimed was the company's eviction of tribespeople from their land in Botswana. In 2005, the actress Julie Christie joined a protest outside the Natural History Museum in support of the same tribesmen.

De Beers denies all the allegations levied against it in connection with diamonds. The company declined to comment last night, but a spokesman for the World Diamond Council, the representative body of the diamond industry, said: "We don't have any issue with the film. The important thing is that the movie is based in the past, in 1999, and the situation now is that the vast majority of conflict is over.

"The diamond industry contributes over $8 million (about £4.5 million) per year to local African economies, which helps to build schools, hospitals and provide employment."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; anticapitalists; debeers; diamonds; dolphinsafetuna; drugtrade; feelgoodcause; friend; narcoterrorists; okaytobuydope; pc; politicalcorrectness
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1 posted on 01/06/2007 7:44:39 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Diamonds may not be a crazy Hollywood b*tch's best friend, but they're still a girl's best friend.
2 posted on 01/06/2007 7:47:32 PM PST by Jaysun (I've never paid for sex in my life. And that's really pissed off a lot of prostitutes.)
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To: blam
It has yet to be shown to me that diamonds are anything but a value. Worn on the neck, finger or tooth they have no value. Bartered, they do.

After all, you can't eat them. I would think a big diamond is worth much less than a nice lake boat that your whole family can enjoy.

3 posted on 01/06/2007 7:48:14 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: Jaysun

Diamonds are a girls best friend, if the girl is a prostitute.

For the rest, love, honor, committment, faithfullness, and honesty. A sense of humor helps too.


If you know what I mean, you know who I mean.


4 posted on 01/06/2007 7:51:30 PM PST by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy!" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: blam

Kooks. Kooks manipulated by special interests. Follow the money.


5 posted on 01/06/2007 7:52:43 PM PST by D.P.Roberts
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To: groanup

I guess that goes for the dollar bills in your wallet and your bank account then too? After all, you can't eat them, either - well, you could, but they won't provide much sustenance.


6 posted on 01/06/2007 7:53:16 PM PST by The Noodle
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To: Victoria Delsoul

"Big Diamond" ping.


7 posted on 01/06/2007 7:55:05 PM PST by scott7278 (The War on Terror includes defending the homefront from the MSM.)
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To: blam
Oh sure, they are not conflict diamonds, wink, wink.

How the heck do we know for sure? They all pass thru Amsterdam or Brussels..

sw

8 posted on 01/06/2007 7:56:12 PM PST by spectre (Spectre's wife ("One Nation, One Standard")
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To: blam
This should make the 1 carat each per ear diamonds I'm buying for my wife for our 30th anniversary more affordable.

Less than 10% of diamonds on the US retail market are from a "war torn" area. And that number is falling daily.
9 posted on 01/06/2007 7:57:29 PM PST by socal_parrot (Do you hear the drums Fernando?)
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To: blam

I have to admit, I miss my diamond wedding ring. My fingers are swollen (due to pregnancy) and can't wear it. I don't thnk they are conflict diamonds, though.


10 posted on 01/06/2007 8:01:56 PM PST by arizonarachel (Lord, thank you for this miracle!)
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To: blam

I don't give a rat's ass where they come from. Just give me a good deal.


11 posted on 01/06/2007 8:03:16 PM PST by wireman
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To: D.P.Roberts

It's a promotional stunt for a film. A film that puts those who worked on it onto a virtual "list" of "good people who care". Maybe they'll even see Oscar nominations for their efforts.

Meanwhile is Hollywood's cocaine narcoterrorist free?


12 posted on 01/06/2007 8:05:13 PM PST by weegee ("Vote Obama - For More Ears!")
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To: donmeaker
Diamonds are a girls best friend, if the girl is a prostitute.

You're don't buy your wife/girlfriend gifts? Or is does nothing say love like the gift of a vacuum cleaner?

13 posted on 01/06/2007 8:06:58 PM PST by socal_parrot (Do you hear the drums Fernando?)
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To: donmeaker

Huh???


14 posted on 01/06/2007 8:08:31 PM PST by wireman
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To: blam

*** Diamonds Are No Longer A Girl's Best Friend ***

Tell that to my wife!

PLEASE!!!!!


15 posted on 01/06/2007 8:08:34 PM PST by doc1019
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To: weegee

Big Hollywood... off-topic, but that's how we should refer to them anymore.


16 posted on 01/06/2007 8:08:36 PM PST by kenth (I wish compassionate conservatives were more compassionate to conservatism.)
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To: Jaysun

I saw a program about the conflict diamonds on History channel. It showed that diamonds are not rare but how the Debeers Co held all of its ownership to raise the price.
Very interesting..


17 posted on 01/06/2007 8:09:15 PM PST by lndrvr1972
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To: Jaysun
I have never been a big fan of jewelry due to the nature of work I do, its rugged physical shift work that I love with a passion.

However the last 6 months I had been perusing the idea of a small bracelet yet nothing caught my eye.

Well now I am the owner of a Blue Diamond set in white Gold bracelet and have decided when I look at my blue diamonds it represents the diet and lifestyle changes I made to put Diabetes in remission (2yrs now).

I am now like ohhhhh my diamonds are a girls best friend.
I appreciate the beauty and years I have went without personal pleasures and the gift to myself.
18 posted on 01/06/2007 8:09:19 PM PST by Global2010 ( I am just ole Lab dog with my head stickin' out the window and my ears a flappin' in the wind.)
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To: scott7278

Thanks for the ping.


19 posted on 01/06/2007 8:10:54 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
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To: blam

Tanzanite gems are almost all from conflict areas.


20 posted on 01/06/2007 8:11:12 PM PST by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 77-78)
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To: spectre
That IS the point; you really can't tell! I read an article about that, a few months back, and it stated that there really was only the sellers' word.

OTOH, why aren't Russian diamonds considered to be "blood diamonds" too? The stinking Commies had blood dripping from their collective hands for generations.

21 posted on 01/06/2007 8:11:43 PM PST by nopardons
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To: blam

As always, Hollywood is in the vanguard of what's most important: Feeling good about ourselves.


22 posted on 01/06/2007 8:12:43 PM PST by denydenydeny ("We have always been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France"--Wellington)
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To: blam

Fake diamonds make me just as happy,
and yes,
real diamons aren't rare at all,
not even a little bit...

Real alexandrite however, IS rare....
same with real padparadsha saphires,
pariba tourmaline, some corals,rainbow black pearls etc.....
Even an electric blue columbina zircon is more valuable in the right size.

Go for the stuff that appreciates in value every year!


23 posted on 01/06/2007 8:13:42 PM PST by najida (If it wasn't for fast food, I'd have no food at all.)
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To: socal_parrot
Nice anniversary present, but don't expect the price of diamonds to fall because of this silliness.
24 posted on 01/06/2007 8:14:42 PM PST by nopardons
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To: Global2010

Good for you. I like your attitude!


25 posted on 01/06/2007 8:15:31 PM PST by Hildy (Words are mere bubbles of water...but deeds are drops of gold.)
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To: blam
It won't be long being a "p.c. celebrity" is really gonna suck.

They can't wear diamonds. They can't wear fur. They can't be seen riding in an SUV, have to squeeze into a Prius. They can't eat meat. And with the Dems back in power, are gonna be taxed to death for the privilege of being p.c. celebrities.

Life is good.

26 posted on 01/06/2007 8:16:25 PM PST by Lawgvr1955 (You can never have too much cowbell !!)
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To: blam
Since when does a Hollywood movie prove anything? The whole thing is fiction.

DeBeers and the Russians were the world's main suppliers of jewelry diamonds, and they deliberately kept the price up. When wars broke out in some diamond-producing areas, the two oligopolists feared a crack in their oligopoly, undercutting their prices.

In a stroke of PR genius, they coined the term "blood diamonds." They could shut off the competition if they got the "good people" to spread their propaganda that "blood diamonds" paid for war. With this movie, it seems to have worked.

27 posted on 01/06/2007 8:17:23 PM PST by JoeFromSidney (My book is out. Read excerpts at www.thejusticecooperative.com)
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To: groanup

The worlds supplies of cut diamonds are controlled to keep prices high, there is no shortage of diamonds and in actuality would be affordable as fine cut crystal if the hoarded amounts were let out on the market.

If anyone wanted a gemstone of value consider the colored stones like rubies and sapphires, those are limited and do have realistic value, even amber is worth its weight in value.

Diamonds are overhyped just like a Rolex watch.


28 posted on 01/06/2007 8:21:04 PM PST by Eye of Unk
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To: najida
Real alexandrite isn't all that "rare" at all. It used to be sold quite cheaply, 40 years ago. Lots of it is still floating around.
29 posted on 01/06/2007 8:23:58 PM PST by nopardons
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To: nopardons

Not flawless color change alexandrite,
right now,
it's 8 grand a carat....and finding anything over a carat is
very rare.


30 posted on 01/06/2007 8:26:14 PM PST by najida (If it wasn't for fast food, I'd have no food at all.)
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To: spectre; blam; nopardons
They all pass thru Amsterdam or Brussels..

Not all of 'em.

www.gemesis.com

www.apollodiamond.com

31 posted on 01/06/2007 8:27:36 PM PST by uglybiker (A bunch of radical Unitarians left a flaming question mark on my lawn!)
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To: blam

Anything that screws deBeers is a good thing IMO.


32 posted on 01/06/2007 8:28:37 PM PST by zeugma (If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.)
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To: spectre
Brussels was the biggest conduit of conflict diamomds. One of the doc channels had a two hour "Blood Diamonds" show on a week or three ago.

All the conflict diamonds invariably come from former European colonies that were left with the basis for a fairly decent society. Most became corrupt basket cases. One country, Sierra Leone, that was able to beat back the sadistic terrorists, RUF, iirc, made the mistake of abandoning a military dictatorship too soon, and electing some quack UN type. The RUF immediately went on the offensive, and resumed killing, raping, maiming, and enslaving people. That's not to mention the absolute corruption of adolescents who probably will never be able to be integrated into any civilization.

Anyway, back to Brussels. I think it was Liberia that was doing about $10M a year in diamonds, and with all the conflicts, it shot up into several billion, since Liberia was the laundering operation for hiding the true source of "blood diamonds". All those old trading and smuggling trails from years gone by. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

33 posted on 01/06/2007 8:29:57 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: najida

YIKES...that's just crazy! About 40 years ago, you could buy a color changing, flawless, 2 carat stone, set in silver, for less than $50!


34 posted on 01/06/2007 8:32:23 PM PST by nopardons
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To: uglybiker

Your first link doesn't work. Can you repost it?


35 posted on 01/06/2007 8:33:56 PM PST by nopardons
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To: JoeFromSidney
"In a stroke of PR genius, they coined the term "blood diamonds." They could shut off the competition if they got the "good people" to spread their propaganda that "blood diamonds" paid for war. With this movie, it seems to have worked."

Joe, you're a genius.

I told my son the same thing when he was visiting for Christmas.

36 posted on 01/06/2007 8:35:41 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

There seem to be a lot of naysayers belittling the value of diamonds. From an aesthetic point of view diamonds are the most beautiful of gemstones when cut and set properly. Criminal gangs and tribal warfare will exist over natural resources including gem deposits in underdeveloped nations until the end of time. So enjoy your ice.


37 posted on 01/06/2007 8:36:20 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: nopardons

I think you're thinking of another stone....
or maybe the big fakes that have been around forever....I've been a collector for a long time, and I've seen lots of the big fakes (I've got a nice doorknob) but finding a real one of decent size and colorchange is damn near impossible.

Real alexandrite has never been plentiful and it's never been cheap. Seriously, I have a tiny quarter carat that I got years ago and it was appraised as authentic.

Maybe you're thinking of the color change topazs or garnets?


38 posted on 01/06/2007 8:38:09 PM PST by najida (If it wasn't for fast food, I'd have no food at all.)
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To: SpaceBar

Not I! I love my jewelry and don't care what the Hollywood idiots say. I also wear fur! :-)


39 posted on 01/06/2007 8:38:46 PM PST by nopardons
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To: blam

all the stars and starlets can go back to wearing their red ribbons instead of diamonds .. a twofer!


40 posted on 01/06/2007 8:40:05 PM PST by EDINVA (a)
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To: lndrvr1972
I saw a program about the conflict diamonds on History channel. It showed that diamonds are not rare but how the Debeers Co held all of its ownership to raise the price.
Very interesting..


It is interesting. But I read somewhere that the inventory kept by DeBeers and others is much less than previously thought. And that the high cost of diamonds can mostly be attributed to the fact that they really are scarce and rare.
41 posted on 01/06/2007 8:40:47 PM PST by Jaysun (I've never paid for sex in my life. And that's really pissed off a lot of prostitutes.)
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To: SpaceBar

But the fakes look just as good,
cost less and if you loose it,
no biggie.

Personally, they're best when paired with something of color.


42 posted on 01/06/2007 8:41:23 PM PST by najida (If it wasn't for fast food, I'd have no food at all.)
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To: Global2010

Good for you. Stay healthy and happy.


43 posted on 01/06/2007 8:42:52 PM PST by Jaysun (I've never paid for sex in my life. And that's really pissed off a lot of prostitutes.)
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To: Jaysun

Sooo where do we stand on emeradls?


44 posted on 01/06/2007 8:45:13 PM PST by DesignerChick
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To: najida
I know whereof I speak. I was raised in a family whose women wore REAL stones and I was taught how to tell fakes from the real stuff, at a rather early age. My alexandrite ring, which I bought in Bermuda was real; it was appraised. I really never cared much for it and gave it to my dear friend, who is still a very dear friend, to this day.

I don't know what they sell for today ( which is patently obvious by my previous posts ), but I certainly DO know what they were going for several decades ago, in Bermuda.

Garnets look NOTHING at all like alexandrites. Garnet was my great grandmothetr's birthstone and I grew up being allowed to wear them, when I played dress-up. Garnets and alexandrites are semiprecious stones, but garnets do NOT change color.

If you want to discuss this further, I suggest that we do it in private, since the topic of this thread is diamonds. :-)

45 posted on 01/06/2007 8:47:58 PM PST by nopardons
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To: SpaceBar
"So enjoy your ice."

I don't own even one piece of jewelery.

46 posted on 01/06/2007 8:49:57 PM PST by blam
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To: DesignerChick
Sooo where do we stand on emeradls?

Or opals? I'm a man so I can't very well wear opals but my wife has a couple. They're the most intriguing and beautiful of stones, I think. Her cousin married a man from Australia (a lot of opals mined there) and they gave her some opals for her birthday.
47 posted on 01/06/2007 8:53:19 PM PST by Jaysun (I've never paid for sex in my life. And that's really pissed off a lot of prostitutes.)
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To: The Noodle

Did you read my post? I said barter. That's what they're worth. Just like dollar bills. Sheesh. Where do they come from?


48 posted on 01/06/2007 8:53:29 PM PST by groanup (Limited government is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: blam

PR BS for the film

I suspect this is all about viral advertising.


49 posted on 01/06/2007 8:56:11 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: nopardons
I can't get it to work, either.

So I'll post this one, instead.

The New Diamond Age (Wired Magazine)

50 posted on 01/06/2007 8:56:21 PM PST by uglybiker (A bunch of radical Unitarians left a flaming question mark on my lawn!)
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