Diamonds Are Forever
Diamonds are portrayed as a subject of beauty, worn mostly by wealthy people. The female population in particular, understands that diamonds hold emotional value, specifically love. They are highly regarded as a symbol of marriage on a wedding ring, actively advertised by many female celebrities. However, the truth behind the diamond industry is far from glamorous. We say diamonds are forever so that people don’t re-sell them back to the market and companies can maintain a set amount of diamonds in the economy, thus encouraging consumers to keep their diamonds, not sell them. This keeps the diamond supply limited and the demand high while maintaining prices.
This public service announcement has two sides to it, the pretty and glamorous side that most of us see when we think of diamonds. The other side is the grim view of the diamond industry which is represented by the woman on the right. The clean cut, pretty woman on the left looks flawless and gorgeous with her diamonds on. Almost as if it is the diamonds that make her look pretty, she seems to be the materialistic one in this ad. Right next to her is a woman that is not clean and does not have the same beauty as the woman with the diamonds. She is clearly less fortunate than the woman to the left and there is blood in the place of where the diamond necklace on the clean woman appears. As the consumers, we do not see how the diamonds are extracted, nor do we know how many lives are taken during the process.
The diamond extraction process involves a great deal of ongoing unethical practices, such as child labour, forced labour without pay, and the funding of rebel groups such as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), thus leading to the continuation of civil war. Although the consumers may not be directly financing the unethical practices and civil conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, they indirectly contribute towards a cycle which keeps the civil wars going.