Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Diamond Trade

A 13 year old Indian polishes African diamonds for Western vanity.

Photo courtesy: Foreign Policy

It takes only weeks for a diamond, once uncovered in an African mine, to travel to India to be cut and polished and land in the showrooms of Paris or New York. The journey reveals some of globalization’s greatest fault lines—inequality, child labor, and outsourcing—and the people who too often fall through the cracks.

Here's the entire photo-essay.

1 comment:

libertarian said...


It's a mixed bag. While the 13-year-old in Surat makes me cringe, the rest of the India part of the story seems OK - 1 million employed - that's got to count for something ... and $60 per month is not terrible in India. The Africa pictures, though, tell a different story - 21st-century slave labor.

Interestingly, this diamond trade has been built through incredible marketing and thuggery by De Beers. Today, gem-quality diamonds can be produced in the lab at a fraction of the cost of mining real diamonds. So the Africans are sh*t outta luck, though Surat will probably boom even more than it already is.


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