Are diamonds forever?

It’s not even coming out for another two months, yet the film “Blood Diamond”  is already generating controversy.  The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, and Jennifer Connelly, is about how rebels in Sierra Leone seized diamond mines in the 1990s used the proceeds from the sales to buy weapons which they used to slaughter ...

606725_trail_of_diamonds5.jpg
606725_trail_of_diamonds5.jpg

It's not even coming out for another two months, yet the film "Blood Diamond"  is already generating controversy.  The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, and Jennifer Connelly, is about how rebels in Sierra Leone seized diamond mines in the 1990s used the proceeds from the sales to buy weapons which they used to slaughter civilians. Today's L.A. Times has a story about how the film's December release has the diamond industry on edge. De Beers, which controls most of the diamond industry, is worried that moviegoers may stop buying diamonds after watching the movie and has issued pre-emptive press releases explaining how they purchase gems to avoid buying conflict diamonds.

For an amazing story on the rise of De Beers in the diamond industry, read my friend Nick Stein's award-winning story which appeared in Fortune five years ago. And to learn more about blood diamonds, see former Washington Post West Africa bureau chief Douglas Farah's book, "Blood From Stones," about how al Qaeda was involved in the diamond trade. Farah is also co-author of an article that will be published in the November/December issue of FP, so watch this space in the next couple weeks.  And, of course, FP published a fantastic photo essay last year, "A Trail of Diamonds," from mines to showrooms.

It’s not even coming out for another two months, yet the film “Blood Diamond”  is already generating controversy.  The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, and Jennifer Connelly, is about how rebels in Sierra Leone seized diamond mines in the 1990s used the proceeds from the sales to buy weapons which they used to slaughter civilians. Today’s L.A. Times has a story about how the film’s December release has the diamond industry on edge. De Beers, which controls most of the diamond industry, is worried that moviegoers may stop buying diamonds after watching the movie and has issued pre-emptive press releases explaining how they purchase gems to avoid buying conflict diamonds.

For an amazing story on the rise of De Beers in the diamond industry, read my friend Nick Stein‘s award-winning story which appeared in Fortune five years ago. And to learn more about blood diamonds, see former Washington Post West Africa bureau chief Douglas Farah‘s book, “Blood From Stones,” about how al Qaeda was involved in the diamond trade. Farah is also co-author of an article that will be published in the November/December issue of FP, so watch this space in the next couple weeks.  And, of course, FP published a fantastic photo essay last year, “A Trail of Diamonds,” from mines to showrooms.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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