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Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair
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Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  380 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Trade Paperback
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Plume (first published October 1st 2001)
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Tim Martin
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, history, reviewed
This book was a real eye-opener for me. I had no idea of just how much treachery, deceit, betrayal, and bloodshed can be laid at the feet of many in the diamond industry over the years. Author Matthew Hart regales many such tales in this very well written and well researched book. We learn about switching, a common sort of theft, in which diamond sorters seek to replace a higher-value stone with a lower value which he or she has brought to work, done to take advantage of a universal practice, th ...more
Scott
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not as compelling a narrative as I thought it might be. If you like National Geographic articles, it might be for you.
Erica
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mining, geology, diamonds
A fairly good book. Covers some gaps in the previous book I read about diamonds, and goes over a lot of the same stuff. Zoellner's book I thought was better written. This one suffered from disorder. But overall not too bad, at the very least it's a super fast read.
Bev
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fascinating. The story starts "On a hot morning in May, 1999, three garimpeiros (small-scale miners) found a large pink diamond in the muddy waters of the Abaete River in Brazil, a discovery that captivated the entire diamond trade. Beginning with this dramatic and revealing tale, Matthew Hart embarks on a journey into an obsessive, largely hidden, and utterly fascinating world."

Well written, and strangely almost as obsessive as the colourful diamond miners who fill the pages with their
...more
Sarah Christy
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dragged a bit but overall interesting and informative
Alison
Aug 10, 2008 rated it liked it
If you know nothing about diamonds and the diamond industry, I would recommend this as an introduction to the issue. If you really want to know how the diamond industry works, how the Kimberly process works, and how De Beers fell from its position as a monopolistic world-power, read From Mine to Mistress by Chaim Even-Zohar (it's about 800 pages, minus the appendices, but the first hundred pages are enough to open your eyes and overload your brain).

People tend to want to think of De Beers and di
...more
Laura
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
After a brief and engrossing story of one large pink stone discovered on a river in Brazil (a clever hook), Hart begins his comprehensive account by telling us how diamonds ended up on Earth. I won't spoil it for you, except to say that it's a mind-blowing and accessible lesson on the presence of diamonds across the universe and how they traveled to the inner layers of Earth itself. We then move on to the early days of diamond mining, De Beer's building of an seemingly intractable monopoly, and ...more
Jen
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really didn't start this book today and finish today. What happens is when I fly I need a book to read during take off/landing. So I bring my nook and one real book--because seriously, that's like 30 minutes of a flight and you don't expect me to sit there and do nothing.

This book is why I'm glad I have a sapphire engagement ring.

Diamonds are very pretty. They are also seriously overvalued, run by weasels, and marketed to within an inch of their lives. No other product actually sells you on th
...more
Elise
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I picked this book up at a second-hand book sale. Knowing literally nothing about diamonds I figured it would be an interesting read. And for the most part it was. I guess I wasn't sure what to expect, but I felt it spent an overly long time focusing on the search for diamond pipes. While I get that's important and essential to the diamond industry, I think this book would have been so much better had it been a more detailed "cultural" history of diamonds through the ages.

I found the most inter
...more
Max Renn
Aug 02, 2008 rated it liked it
A pop history of diamonds, specifically the diamond industry; covering the geology of diamonds, the emergence of the debeers diamond cartel, notable figures in diamond exploration and recent developments like conflict diamonds and the geopolitical developments in canada and india that point towards an unraveling of the cartel.

despite a writing style seemingly born out of a career writing features for the likes of the wall street journal, the economist or US news and world report, hart is quite c
...more
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Matthew Hart was an experienced newspaper and magazine reporter when he wrote Golden Giant, the story of a 1980 gold rush and staking battle on the north shore of Lake Superior. Ten years later he was hooked by another mining rush, this time diamonds. His award-winning Diamond: the History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair, recounted the 1990 discovery and staking rush that uncovered the world’s third ...more
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