It is almost every girls dream – that big, sparkling diamond rock on your finger that is supposed to signify ever-lasting love and happiness. Sadly in most cases, the person that dug up that rock will be living the opposite dream.
Roughly two thirds of diamonds are dug up in Africa and are often the cause of violence and turbulent disruption. The money from the diamonds is used to finance the purchase of weapons and support malicious dictatorships. Once a diamond reaches the market place its origin is difficult to trace and once it has been polished it can no longer be identified. It is sold for a small fortune to someone who will not even think twice about the terrifying consequences of their purchase.
Zimbabwe is a country on its knees and screaming out for help as the economy continues to crumble and the tyrant Mugabe only seems to get more mad and destructive by the day. It has gone from ‘the bread basket of Africa’ to a starving, pleading and AIDS ridden country in just a decade. Just six months ago one of the largest diamond fields ever was discovered. Local, illegal diggers were finding diamonds scattered on the floor and having to dig just a few feet to find more. These diamonds were then quickly passed onto dealers and smuggled out of the country. For these locals, who were more than likely unemployed, starving and suffering under Mugabe’s brutal regime it would have been the opportunity to feed their family, buy some clothes to replace the rags and perhaps even go as far as to help educating their children. Once the Mugabe regime caught wind of this activity, the army were sent in, helicopters surrounded, dogs let loose and a reported 150 killed. The ‘Marange’ site is now controlled exclusively by the Army and reporters or in fact anyone found anywhere near the surrounding areas regarded as trespassers and ‘dealt with.’ The diamonds are not registered on the market and are thought to still be smuggled illegally. The economy is at its knees. In 1980 one Zimbabwe dollar bought you one British Pound, now you would literally need a wheel barrow of Zimbabwean dollars to buy that one British Pound. The beautiful and mineral rich country continues to be in crisis whilst Mugabe and his Army sit luxuriously, reaping the benefits of those ‘blood diamonds.’
So next time you and your girlfriends gather around and fantasise about owning the latest Tiffany’s bling, take just a second to think about the possible and in fact likely origin of that beautiful rock.