• Saira D.

The Chaos Behind the Four C's w/ "Blood Diamond"

This is the film that completely changed my view on diamonds. Supposedly “a girl’s best friend”, diamonds definitely aren’t my best friend. Now for anyone that knows me, you might already know my take on diamonds. Just two letters: “n” and “o”. Why? “Because I watched Blood Diamond and it scarred me for life. I have serious trust issues now.” Then I probably started talking about how “it’s still an amazing film, you should definitely watch it, and Leonard DiCaprio seriously earned that Oscar nomination!” Etcetera, etcetera. But “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds” – although much less of an occurrence in these slightly more modern and conscientious times – still exist in the world and diamond industry today, and Blood Diamond showed me that. This film opened my eyes to the chaos behind the four C’s, what the phrase “blood diamond” really even meant and, Leonardo DiCaprio just does such a stellar job in this film!

A painstaking classic – like so many Academy Award winners and nominees are – the reality of, and truth behind diamonds that Blood Diamond reveals is so necessary for people to fully understand. Most people look at diamonds and think aesthetic thoughts. And after the vanity session, some then go on to enquire about the diamonds four C’s – cut, colour, clarity, and carat. These four C’s are the scale diamonds are graded against and help determine their value. But as I’ve said above, Blood Diamond opened my eyes to the chaos behind all those C’s. And it’s something I never want to be a part of.

Now some of you may be thinking, “what chaos?”. As Blood Diamond highlights for us, the acquisition of rough diamonds by Western world traders – especially jewellers – are done so by negotiating with people supporting rebel guerrilla groups in the diamond-rich countries of Africa. The money from diamond sales are then used to purchase weapons, build child solider armies, and cause war in attempts to overthrow governments. All that chaos, behind the brightest stone in your jewellery box. And despite the fact that agreements like “The Kimberley Process” have been created to “reduce the flow of conflict diamonds”, that slogan already says it all. Reduce. And despite the implementation of blockchain technology – a method and/or system tracking every step taken (from the gem being mined in what area, to payments taken, and handovers actualized) – there can never be total transparency, total clarity, on the means exercised to acquire some of the diamonds in your jewellery, grill, watches or ring. The potential probability that a diamond you own or want to own means you’ll unknowingly assist in the diamond-related chaos and conflict in parts of Africa, is such a frightening thought! Which is exactly why I’d choose any other beautiful, precious or semi-precious gemstone, of the many that exist within our extraordinary planet called Earth. Or, support a business whose mastered the art of lab-created diamonds.

Last, but definitely not least, let’s talk about how diamonds aren’t even a rare gem! As we’re also shown in Blood Diamond, these stones are collected practically by the handful and jewellers will store them in vaults – faking a low supply to keep demands and prices high. A staple business mindset. And we’re already no stranger to the business versus ethics argument, but if I can choose to take part in a company’s ulterior motives or not – a choice that seldom presents itself as society advances and technology continues to rule our worlds – then why on Earth would I choose to support something as horrid as the diamond industry? And just as importantly, why would I knowingly shell out big bills for something I know isn't even worth its price? I’ve not lost my mind. So I don’t buy diamonds. And neither should you! Or at the very least, do some research beforehand to understand where exactly those diamonds came from, by what means, and what steps the retailer you're shopping with has taken to ensure they aren’t using conflict diamonds in their pieces. The more aware we become, the more we can help one another fight against injustices like blood or conflict diamonds. So, get ready to watch Blood Diamond and wake up!

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