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Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair [Hardcover]

Matthew Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

2 Jan 2002

A race to prospect and discover a pipe of kimberlite in the remote Barrens of Northern Canada prefigure a much larger story: of a diamond strike to overshadow all previous ones, that would fracture the airtight cartel established by De Beers and once more show what men and women are prepared to do in the name of romancing this particular stone.…

Diamonds are almost completely useless but prized above all other gems. Historically they have attracted crimes of passion and awful cold-blooded efficiency, have bedazzled the greatest filmstars and the most opulent courts, and provided the incentive for adventure, destruction and greed on a monumental scale. No one company is more identified with diamonds than the South African based De Beers.

Until the collapse of the Iron Curtain they controlled the diamond market. After the collapse, they still controlled it – once they had bought up most of the diamonds emerging from the former Soviet Union. They are secretive, discreet and very, very powerful. A strike in Northern Canada could hardly seem to trouble them. Except that it prefigured a diamond rush in a territory over which they had no influence by prospectors they did not own. And the strike promised enormous riches.

Here is the true story of the strike that upset the diamond kings, and with it the history of the world’s most acclaimed diamonds, the process by which they are cut, fashioned, smuggled and stolen, the legends and superstitions that are attached to them, the characters who comprise the great diamond prospectors and, above all, of the shadowy hand of De Beers for whom diamonds are forever.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (2 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184115279X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841152790
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,086,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'This is a gripping mix of geology, history and adventure.' -- Mariella Frostrup, Observer

A fascinating book...an excellent piece of book length journalism. -- Mail on Sunday, Feb 3, 2002

An absorbing voyage... Diamond fanciers and geology buffs alike will find this a trove of information. -- Kirkus (starred review)

This book provides a highly readable and well-informed guide for those who want to know more about the underside of this outwardly glamorous business. -- The Guardian, Feb 3, 2002

From the Back Cover

Diamonds are almost completely useless but prized above all other gems. Historically they have attracted crimes of passion and awful cold-blooded efficiency, have bedazzled the greatest filmstars and the most opulent courts, and provided the incentive for adventure, destruction and greed on a monumental scale. No one company is more identified with diamonds than the South African based De Beers.

Until the collapse of the Iron Curtain they controlled the diamond market. After the collapse, they still controlled it – once they had bought up most of the diamonds emerging from the former Soviet Union. They are secretive, discreet and very, very powerful. A strike in Northern Canada could hardly seem to trouble them. Except that it prefigured a diamond rush in a territory over which they had no influence by prospectors they did not own. And the strike promised enormous riches.

Here is the true story of the strike that upset the diamond kings, and with it the history of the world’s most acclaimed diamonds, the process by which they are cut, fashioned, smuggled and stolen, the legends and superstitions that are attached to them, the characters who comprise the great diamond prospectors and, above all, of the shadowy hand of De Beers for whom diamonds are forever.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 30 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
A truly stunning book, which, once picked up glitters with insight - a window into a world which appears scintillating, but in the heart of which lies a devastating gletz.
Diamond is a book written with tremendous care, and shows the reader the whole world of deceit and deception, which mixes with care and patience gives us the diamonds we all love. The author, Matthew Hart, obviously knows the world of diamonds intimately, and the book ranges between specific diamonds to the diamond wars in Angola, the fine line between legitimate and illegitimate trade, and the amazing discoveries all around the world.
We see so little of this world beyond it's intoxicating shell, so little of the true nature of diamonds and the people who create the facets.
This book is an amazing window for anyone who loves diamonds. Who doesn't!
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