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Diamonds - PRS - Polity Resources series

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Diamonds - PRS - Polity Resources series
Ian Smillie

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Diamonds are a multi-billion dollar business involving some of theworld's largest mining companies, a million and a halfartisanal diggers, more than a million cutters and polishers and ahuge retail jewellery sector. But behind the sparkle of the diamondlies a murkier story, in which rebel armies in Angola, Sierra Leoneand the Congo turned to diamonds to finance their wars. Completelyunregulated, so-called blood diamonds became the perfect tool formoney laundering, tax evasion, drug-running andweapons-trafficking. Diamonds brings together for the first time all aspects of thediamond industry. In it, Ian Smillie, former UN Security Councilinvestigator and leading figure in the blood diamonds campaign,offers a comprehensive analysis of the history and structure oftoday's diamond trade, the struggle for effective regulationand the challenges ahead. There is, he argues, greaterdiversification and competition than ever before, but thanks to thesuccess of the Kimberley Process, this coveted and prestigious gemnow represents a fragile but renewed opportunity for development insome of the world's poorest nations. This part of the diamondstory has rarely been told.
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