Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Diamonds- still bloody

(image courtesy Amnesty International)


Inspired by a post over at Greek Tragedy, wherein Ms. Klein expresses a desire for an "eternity band" of diamonds, I thought I'd remind my faithful following that the diamond business is still pretty damned excruciatingly horrible. Sure, the war in Sierra Leone is over, but the industry is still gobbling up diamonds used to foment bloody conflict in Liberia and Ivory Coast. Don't believe me? Check it:

Rough Trade: Diamond Industry Still Funding Bloody Conflicts in Africa

If you must have a diamond, insist that it be conflict free. This is relatively easy to do, and will ensure that the pretty gem on your finger did not fund some child soldier's kalashnikov. Global Witness has prepared a user-friendly guide to buying conflict free.

11 Comments:

At 6:49 PM, Anonymous phil said...

I totally agree. The fact that diamonds can be man made now drives home the point even stronger. I hate being marketed to and manipulated into doing something. Diamonds fall into that category for me. There is a company "Apollo Diamonds doing some interesting things-

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techinnovations/2005-10-06-man-made-diamonds_x.htm

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

Nice- man made diamonds are a completely legitimate alternative.

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger M said...

Speaking of Greek Tragedy, Stephanie's fiance Phil just sent me an individual rant after I posted a response in the comment section. Talk about being part of the family. Gee, I'm honored.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Unsane said...

I never get those personalised emails from Phil. Whatsup. Somebody ought to give me ... something.

As for childsoldiers with weapons, is a weapon really the defining factor for making a soldier out of a child, or do some of them get by with clubs and sticks etc.?

 
At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

antique diamonds are another alternative. they seem to be gaining popularity these days.

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Noisette said...

Yes, antique diamonds make sense, both from a moral and sort of aesthetic perspective. I have two treasures that my grandmother gave me before she died; one is an art deco ring circa 1920, the other a beautiful diamond necklace from the late '20's. I love them both.
Re: child soldiers- you're right, it's not the weapon, it's the brainwashing.

Re: phil- I think he made the first comment here (which I entirely appreciate since he contributed to the discussion). He's been less kind to me, too, though, in the past:

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=9951142&postID=113407072861394264

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Heather B. said...

And don't forget, your boy Kanye even sings about the diamonds in Sierra Leone.

Also, antique diamonds are also much more nicely set.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Heather B. said...

By the way, I cut and pasted that link you left RE: Phil's other comments; I don't mind being corrected over blog, I was referencing a hypothetical work email.

 
At 11:12 AM, Anonymous phil said...

N,

I did want to further the discussion but in an appropriate forum like this.

Jewelry to me primarily less about the materials as much as the symbolism. Why wear a ring just for it to be seen and gawked at by people? That feeling is fleeting.

 
At 11:24 AM, Blogger Noisette said...

Heather- Kanye West is America's poet laureate. Ok, maybe that's going a little far- but "Diamonds are Forever" is a great song (at least, the remix with Jay-Z). Thanks for the clear-up on the old blog entry- I was never upset with you though.
Phil- re: "appropriate forum"- I agree that Stephanie's blog is not political (I actually posted a response to your comment on her blog but she didn't put it up)- but I think this issue goes beyond politics.
The issue is this- people buy these shiny status symbols that have absolutely no practical purpose and are incredibly inflated price-wise; but this symbol of their love, happiness and social status has blood on it. I like to give people who buy diamonds without "running a conflict check" the benefit of the doubt- they must not KNOW about this issue, because if they did they'd be disgusted and take care that their diamond doesn't have dubious origins. This isn't a political issue, really. I don't care that Stephanie expressed her desire for diamonds on her blog- whatever- but I feel a responsibility whenever diamonds are brought up in a public forum to also bring up the issue of conflict diamonds- so that more people can know about them and make educated choices. It seems especially critical on Stephanie's blog since so many people read her.

I apologize if this response is convoluted. I'm slammed over here and don't really have time to edit.

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger elisabeth said...

fcuk. I just got engaged and have happily flashed my rock to everybody who is and isn't willing to see... Does it help that I'm on a lifetime Amnesty International-donation program???

(Phil - nah, I don't think that feeling is fleeting. It still feels like the first five seconds after I go the ring,and it's been 2 months.)

 

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