The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire

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Macmillan, Jun 12, 2007 - Business & Economics - 340 pages
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An American Library Association Notable Book

When he proposed to his girlfriend, Tom Zoellner gave what is expected of every American man--a diamond engagement ring. But when the relationship broke apart, he was left with a used diamond that began to haunt him. His obsession carried him around the globe; from the "blood diamond" rings of Africa; to the sweltering polishing factories of India; to mines above the Arctic Circle; to illegal diggings in Brazil; to the London headquarters of De Beers, the secretive global colossus that has dominated the industry for more than a century and permanently carved the phrase "A diamond is forever" on the psyche. An adventure story in the tradition of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, The Heartless Stone is a voyage into the cold heart of the world's most unyielding gem.


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Must read on the devil of De Beers.

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The Kimberly Process was a way to head off protests outside Tiffany's and Wal-Mart. The concept is simple: Any nation that exports diamonds is now required to seal the stones inside a tamper-proof container along with a document certifying they were not mined in the midst of a war. Angola was brought into the system eleven months after Savimbi's assassination and was immediately held up as a success story. Its diamonds, regarded by experts as top quality for their transparency and brilliance, are now officially considered `clean.'
But the era of blood diamonds is not over . . .
The Heartless Stone: Blood Diamonds [page 157]

Selected pages


Dying Stars Central African Republic
Desired Results Japan
The Strong Man Brasil
The Cartel South Africa
The New Era Australia
Blood Diamonds Angola
The Stone Mills India
Midnight Sun Canada
Alchemy Russia
The Big Nothing United States of America
Notes on Sources

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About the author (2007)

Tom Zoellner is a contributing editor for Men's Health magazine and has worked as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, The Salt Lake Tribune, and The Arizona Republic. The 2002 recipient of the Knight Fellowship in Specialized Reporting, he lives in New York City.

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