Are they forever?
SS10 – Globalization
Mr. R. Thompson
“Illicit diamonds make fabulous profits for
terrorists and corporarations alike. The
trade illustrates with the hard clarity of the
gem itself that no matter where human
rights violations occur, the world ignores
them at its peril.”
Are You Involved?
• What is the historical background to the
• What are Diamonds?
• Why do people want them so badly?
• Who is producing the worlds diamonds?
• What are the working and living conditions of
those producing the worlds diamonds?
• Should we be looking more closely at where our
diamonds are coming from?
• Should we more carefully look at how all our
consumer goods are being created?
Slave/Gun Cycle & Diamond/Gun Cycle –
Is History Repeating Itself?
Slavery was a part of
African History long
before the Europeans
Slave trade changed
the way slavery
operated in Africa.
From the 1400’s to
1870 10 million
slaves were sent from
Africa to America
alone in brutal middle
The Slave/Gun Cycle
European Traders brought men,
women and children from West
African Coasts and transported
them chained together and packed
below decks where they had little
room to move.
Some captains took so many
slaves that there was little room
for fresh water.
When the decks were sealed the
heat caused many captives to die
of suffocation. Many more died of
Those who survived (usually about
50%) were sold to plantation
owners who farmed in Sugar in the
West Indies, or Tobacco & Cotton
in North America.
• The first leg of the cycle might begin The
in a country like New England
(America) The ship would be loaded Triangular
with rum, guns and ammunition
headed for a West African port. Slave Trade
• Once these ships arrived in West
Africa, these guns & ammo would be
traded for slaves who would be
loaded on the ships.
• This trade gave West African tribes
an advantage in the wars they were
fighting with tribes from the interior of
Africa and they could therefore
capture more prisoners of war to be
later traded with the Americans and
Europeans for more guns & ammo.
• Slaves were now transported
To The Americas
below deck, tightly packed like
any other cargo in order to
• Those who survived the voyage
would be sold in Slave Markets
in the West Indies and traded for
other products like tobacco or
sugar. The slaves would often
end up in the Southern United
States to be used as labour on
• These products would now be
shipped back to New England
(America) for use by consumers
there or for sale to other
• Many of today's
diamonds are produced
in 3rd World countries in
Africa an South America. Todays Cycle
• The conditions under
which these diamonds
are mined are terrible
with miners working
under slave like
• In addition in 1998 about
20% of the world’s
diamonds were being
used to finance wars of
insurgency in countries
like Angola, Sierra
Leone and the
Democratic Republic of
The Gun Cycle Continues
Like the Historical Slave/Gun
Cycle. Guns are the product
these rebel African groups
most want. They often
enslave men, women and
children to work in the
diamond mines or may pay
them pennies a day to work.
Once again the diamonds
end up in developed Western
Nations, while the rebel
groups trade the money they
make for the diamonds for
more weapons and the cycle
oppose the rebel
groups are often
Those who most
are often those
who are most
• The Ancient Greeks
What are thought that diamonds
were splinters of stars
Diamonds? fallen to earth.
• In reality diamonds are
crystals of pure carbon
(coal) that has been
crystallized at high
temperatures over millions
• The value of a diamond is
usually measure by what is
known as the “four c’s”.
Color, Clarity, Carat weight,
and cut. Today the world
would benefit from an
additional C. Conflict-free.
Why Diamonds Before 1938
diamonds did not hold
the power over us
that they do today.
At that time the value
of an average
diamond in North
America was only
De Beers diamond
to use advertising and
the media to convince
young men and
women that diamonds
are actually symbols
Hollywood Steps In
The Movie industry was
the fastest growing
industry of the time and
De Beers decided to take
advantage of it.
Movie Idols would be
given diamonds to use as
a symbol of their love.
In addition magazines
and newspaper adds
would reinforce the link
between diamonds and
Royalty and Diamonds
Since Great Britain had an
interest in the success of the
diamond industry the British
Monarchy was convinced
they should use diamonds
rather than other jewels when
in public events.
The Queen went on a well-
publicized trip to several
South African diamond
mines and accepted a
diamond from De Beers
De Beers decided they needed
a slogan for their campaign
“Diamonds and that slogan became, “A
are Forever” Diamond is Forever”
By 1950 90% of young men
proposing marriage were
doing so with a diamond
engagement ring, the
campaign had been a success.
The diamond movement
received a boost when
Marilyn Monroe starred in the
blockbuster film, “Gentlemen
prefer Blondes” and sang the
song “Diamonds are a girls
Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend
The French were bred to die for love There may come a time when a hard boiled
They delight in fighting duels employer
But I prefer a man who lives Thinks your awful nice
And gives expensive jewels But get that ice or else no dice
A kiss on the hand may be quite He's your guy when stocks are high
continental But beware when the start to descend
But diamonds are a girl's best friend It's then that those louses go back to their spou
A kiss may be grand but it won't pay the Diamonds are a girl's best friend
rental I've heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
On your humble flat, or help you at the But diamonds are a girl's best friend
automat And I think affairs that you must keep liaisonic
Men grow cold as girls grow old Are better bets if little pets get big baggettes
And we all lose our charms in the end Time rolls on and youth is gone
But square cut or pear shaped And you can't straighten up when you bend
These rocks don't lose their shape But stiff back or stiff knees
Diamonds are a girl's best friend You stand straight at Tiffany's
Tiffany's, Cartier Diamonds
Talk to me, Harry, Winston, tell me all Diamonds
about it I don't mean rhinestones
There may come a time when a lass But Diamonds
needs a lawyer Are A Girl's Best Friend
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
Where are today’s Diamonds coming from?
Most of today’s diamonds are
produced in nations in Africa
and South America.
However Canada is growing
as a diamond producing
nation. Today we are the 6th
largest diamond producing
nation and we are expected
to become the 2nd largest
producer by the year 2010.
In 2006 Canada produced 2
Billion dollars in Diamonds.
Where are the World’s Many of the world’s diamonds
Blood Diamonds? are mined in 3rd World nations.
The Term “Blood Diamond”
is used to describe a diamond
mined in a war zone, and
usually used to finance that
Other terms for Blood
Diamonds are Dirty
Diamonds, Conflict Diamonds,
or War Diamonds.
In May of 2000 the United Nations
met in Kimberly South Africa to The
discuss ways to stop the trade of
Blood Diamonds. The results of the
agreement signed there have led to a
reduction in the number of blood
diamonds being exported. The trade
in this industry has dropped now to
less than 4%, however that still
means that $1 Billion worth of
diamonds are funding wars.
In addition most diamonds are still
mined in African nations under
terrible working conditions. Mines
are dangerous places which often
collapse, killing the miners inside.
Because children are small and cheap
to pay, many of the workers are small
What does the following suggest about the mining
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First Nations leader slams Canadian diamonds (CBC
A First Nations group in Ontario is trying to
“Conflict-Free” dissuade Americans from buying Canadian diamonds
this holiday season, saying the jewels are mined at the
expense of its people.
Alvin Fiddler, deputy grand chief of the Nishnawbe
Aski Nation, said De Beers Canada in particular is
causing environmental devastation and disrupting his
community of 45,000 Cree and Ojibwa in northern
"They're not clean diamonds; they're not conflict-free
diamonds," Fiddler told CBC News. "People are
paying a price for these diamonds and it's our people
in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. Our people, our
children, are languishing in poverty while these
resources are being extracted from their territory."
Fiddler this week had an editorial published in the
diamond industry trade publication Rapaport News,
in which he outlined his concerns about Canadian
diamond exploration and mining. He says several
communities have called for a moratorium on
mineral exploration on land where the legal title is
"Tell De Beers, other diamond miners and Canada
that unless things change, Canadian diamonds are no
better than conflict diamonds from Africa."
What should YOU do?
What should be done about the
Blood Diamond Industry?
Should we attempt to change the
working conditions of those
involved in the Diamond
Should we be concerned with
environmental conditions, land
claim concerns, and working
conditions in Canadian Mines?
Should Canadians consumers
consider the sources of other
products being purchased here
and what treatment their workers
are living under?
WHAT WILL YOU DO?