Bloody diamonds

What are diamonds?

Lumps of carbon and the hardest substance known to humans. So is that why enslaved people die fighting over them and huge profits are generated selling them?

Not really. This happens because of superstition and greedy people. Let’s try a different question, What are diamond jewels?

Shiny gravel. For some reason, shiny gravel has an inexplicable attraction for humans. This causes all the trouble.

In a lot of ways, we are still primitive natives, seduced by beads and gewgaws. We give away real wealth for trinkets and fall under the spell of specious superstition and lies – for example, shiny gravel is rare and exclusive.

It might have been once, but since De Beers established a monopoly on shiny gravel production and distribution, its rarity value has been carefully manipulated to maintain that illusion. De Beers has billions of pounds worth of shiny gravel locked away in huge warehouses like a giant dam, preventing them from flooding the market. Through various dirty tricks and special circumstances, De Beers has managed to perpetuate its monopoly and its superstitious beliefs for over 100 years.

But here is where it gets really spooky. Eventually, technology and capitalism caught up with De Beers and innovative engineers could grow shiny gravel in a laboratory. This meant factories could be set up to start mass producing shiny gravel with the economies of scale that would allow cheaper prices. Hardly the romantic image De Beers wants to promote. It also compromised the special circumstances that allowed De Beers to maintain a monopoly. So what was their response?


They started to investigate how they could differentiate natural shiny gravel, from factory produced shiny gravel and their results were mind blowing. They were mind blowing because they were on a molecular level. The primitive natives can’t see molecules and they don’t really care about them, they only care if the gravel shines prettily, but if that was the only weapon Be Beers had, they were going to go to war with it. And so, as primitive natives, we are told to believe ‘natural’ is better than ‘manufactured’ when it comes to shiny gravel.

This is a war of ideas. This is superstition versus science, creationism versus evolution, the have’s versus the have not’s, evil versus good.

When you buy shiny gravel, it’s really the voodoo you buy.

3 Responses to “Bloody diamonds”

  1. Harrison says:

    When I was in London a few months ago I noticed the tube escalator walls were covered with posters advertising a designer suit. The posters simply depicted a model in said suit with the word ‘confidence’ underneath.

    The suit may well give the wearer confidence, in much the same way as a special amulet might have provided the wearer with confidence a few hundred years ago.

    Capitalism does indeed encourage superstition.

  2. Ivor Tymchak says:

    Thank you for this Harrison, superstition is obviously more pervasive than I had given credit for. Although, thinking about it, one of the most common symbols of voodoo in modern civilisation is right there in everyone’s pocket – a bank note.

    You were missed at Bettakultcha V. When are you going to do a presentation?

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