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Diamonds (PRS - Polity Resources series) Paperback – 28 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (28 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745672310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745672311
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 1.7 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 556,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Fifteen years ago Ian Smillie looked at a diamond and saw blood,and he rallied civil society and the diamond industry to addressthe blood diamond challenge. In Diamonds he cuts his wayinto the myriad facets of the diamond story from geology,to mythology, to development and more. Diamonds isinformation–packed and inspirational, as is Smillie."
Stephen D′Esposito, president of RESOLVE, and former director ofGreenpeace International and EARTHWORKS

"Ian Smillie examines the messy diamond trade from the soil upwardin this valuable book. He knows far more about diamonds than anydealer, and he cuts through decades of haze to tell you thetruth."
Tom Zoellner, author of The Heartless Stone: A JourneyThrough the World of Diamonds, Deceit and Desire

"Ian Smillie has produced a remarkably concise yet insightful lookinto the diamond industry science, commerce, conflict,activism, Kimberley Process regulation and the ongoing challenge ofinternational development based on his years of first–handexperience on the front lines."
Matt Runci, retired CEO of Jewelers of America, and foundingboard chair of Responsible Jewellery Council
 






"The author′s eloquent and accessible style prevents the materialfrom seeming dry, and his discussions of the potential forsocioeconomic benefits in poorer countries and the complexpolitical, social, and economic issues surrounding blood diamondsare particularly insightful. This informative primer will be highlyvaluable to readers interested in geology and earth sciences,business and economics, and history and sustainabilitystudies."
Library Journal

Review

"Fifteen years ago Ian Smillie looked at a diamond and saw blood,and he rallied civil society and the diamond industry to addressthe blood diamond challenge. In Diamonds he cuts his way into themyriad facets of the diamond story – from geology, to mythology, todevelopment and more. Smillie s Diamonds is informationpacked and inspirational, as is Smillie." 
Stephen D′Esposito, President of RESOLVE, and former director ofGreenpeace International and EARTHWORKS

"Look deep enough into the diamond business and you′ll see acivilizational story –– the international hunt for wealth, thesecret heroisms, the grinding warfare, the images of love, thediplomatic compromises and the clever fabrications that make it allpossible. Ian Smilie examines this messy trade from the soil upwardin this valuable book. He knows far more about diamonds than anydealer, and he cuts through decades of haze to tell you thetruth." 
Tom Zoellner, author of The Heartless Stone: A Journey Throughthe World of Diamonds, Deceit and Desire

"Ian Smillie has produced a remarkably concise yet insightful lookinto the diamond industry – science, commerce, conflict, activism,Kimberley Process regulation and the ongoing challenge ofinternational development – based on his first–hand experience onthe front lines over the last 15 years." 
Matt Runci, PhD, retired CEO Jewelers of America and foundingboard chair, Responsible Jewellery Council

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craddock Edwards from Bristol VINE VOICE on 6 May 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The latest title in Cambridge based Polity Press's series on the world's resources with titles that include Oil, Land, Fish, Food,Timber etc. and all written by experts in the title's given field.

I have to start from zero, before reading this book I knew zilch about diamonds, never owned one, never purchased one and apart from my late grand mother's wedding ring I don't think i've ever looked at one remotely closely. Diamonds were not part of my world being raised in post WW2 working class Britain, a world of hard, often physical graft to put food on the table for my family and a wife who also had no interest in diamonds or fancy jewelry. That was strictly for the rich folks, not us, as we struggled to raise and educate three kids in Brazil, Spain and the UK - going wherever I could find a half decent job.

Having said that and having read this book I can further state I have no interest at all in ever in buying, owning or in any other way being involved with these pieces of over priced, over valued rock - extracted at such a high price in human misery, blood, sweat and tears and in most cases the sheer, brutal economic exploitation of human labour. something touched on but only superficially by the author who is a former U.N. Investigator and a leading light in campaigns to clean up the 'blood' diamond market that was, and to a lesser extent, is still rife in parts of Africa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE on 4 May 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a former investigator to the UN Security Council and having been involved in setting up the Kimberley Process, Ian Smillie is well qualified to write this excellent summary of the diamond industry – from its murky roots to its murkier current form and the failure of attempts to regulate it. The book deals with the geology and history of diamonds, how the diamond industry works, blood diamonds, activism, regulation, power and politics, development and a sweep up conclusion chapter. The strongest chapters are those on blood diamonds, activism and regulation with Smillie using his insider knowledge to give insights onto how the Kimberley Process came into being and why the regulation is failing (including a coherent explanation of how blood diamonds are traded and why it’s so difficult to control them). I admired the fact that he acknowledges the failure of the Kimberley Process despite his involvement with it and his even-handed analysis is a major strength of the book. There’s a comprehensive index and notes, but I was slightly disappointed in the Further Reading section, which I’d hoped would have been more extensive (although I liked Smillie’s notes on each suggested book). As a short book it cannot give an in-depth look at the whole industry but is nonetheless an excellent starting point and gives the reader a good platform to do further research if they’re interested. All in all, it’s a must-read primer for anyone with an interest on the topic.

Smillie is completely open about why it’s so difficult to regulate the diamond industry. He explains how the geology of alluvial diamonds makes it impossible to secure sites while the widespread existence of artisan miners makes it impossible to control who is looking to sell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 April 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This looks deep into the abyss of the Diamonds industry and reveals that it is based upon advertising a toxic dream. So the sparkler fits onto every women's finger and then they buy into the reflection. Diamonds are heavily marketed as exotic, regal, scarce, containing something of the worlds ancient core whilst beaming its beauty.

Trouble is diamonds are easily broken and in fact are ten a penny. Huge cartels operate to keep the industry afloat and the belief in their infallibility intact. In essence however diamonds maybe forever as they are marketed but they are worth very little. In fact they are only worth what people are willing to pay for them.

However wading back into history, sees the colonial Empire of the British led by Rhodes a young entrepreneur in South Africa seize the market and begin to seize the market through manipulation. Nothing about the hidden hand and everything to do with a "will to power." Once he seized the initiative he smashed his rivals and then set his own price, the result was the rise of De Beers. Subsequently however other challenges have arisen to this monopoly from Russia, China and a host of others. The polishing trade centred on Antwerp has also been challenged by a mass of small scale polishers from the Indian sub continent. All that is solid melts into air.

Meanwhile within Africa, bodies are heaped into funeral pyres as life is less than a glittering rock. Wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Rwanda and a host of others has been fueled by governments and cartels seeking to seize the market. Each backs a rival in these various internecine affairs and fuels the hatred whilst harvesting the proceeds. Africa has been bled dry by the desire to wear the sparkle of these rocks.

So this book is a very welcome expose of the trade which will take a huge knock in the vast over inflated commodity which is meant to signify happiness, love and betrothal which is anything but....
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