Ever since watching the absolutely horrifying Blood Diamond (the movie where Leo DiCaprio can for like to talk wif a Souf Efriken accent), I’ve had a rather bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to any glassy rock, and their biggest monopolistic producer, who, it is claimed, deliberately stockpile the rocks to increase scarcity and therefore value. (And in doing so have probably directly and indirectly funded decades of wars in Africa).
This has led to some very strong negative sentiment towards ever buying a diamond (sorry ladies), and I tend to take out this sentiment on the poor salespeople behind the counter who try to divert my cubic zirconia preference elsewhere: “A Diamond? What? Have you ever seen the movie Blood Diamond!!!???”
Of course De Beers claim with a straight face that all their diamonds are 100% conflict free, but why would they ever say anything else, right?
As a monopoly, and a very controversial one at that, De Beers should be ready for parody in any way shape or form. Apparently they aren’t. De Beers was recently criticised in the following advert featured in a fake edition of the New York Times which was distributed in New York City on 12 November 2008:
The real New York Times had a good chuckle about the whole pardoy, but in contrast De Beers responded, well, with the typical legal sideswipe in the internet era – go after the domain registrar that hosts the domain name entry for the site, because they simply cannot ever get a real win against comment covered by free speech rights (that’s free speech in De Beers’ home, South Africa, never mind the First Amendment stuff the yanks use).
The sad truth is that large corporates will continue to exploit these backhand techniques, chasing the softer targets instead of taking a head on confrontation, or even better, actually embracing the criticism and firing directly back at it with facts and truths.
Sucks to them. As a consumer I’ll just keep my conscience clear and stick with the man-made rocks. (And besides I don’t have money for jewels like that, or even someone to give it to!!!)
By the way, given the fast growing economic depression, poor sales predict an artificially large drop in diamond production in the De Beers stable.