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The Heartless Stone Book review
The novel, “The heartless stone” by Tom Zoellner entails a journey that Tom made in order to establish the underlying factors that are associated with diamond ring. The book opens when Zoellner was in Drying Stars. Central African Republic and he proceeds to buy a diamond engagement ring and proposed to his fiancée. His girlfriend accepted his proposal by saying “yes” to him making the latter to put the diamond ring on her left ring finger (Tom 17). However, after some time, the relationship turned sour, making the girlfriend to walk out of his life, and this entailed giving him back his diamond ring. This stimulated the Editor Zoellner to make up the decision of crisscrossing around the globe in order to establish mystery that lies behind the diamond stone. According to him, “he has to unlock the mystique of the glittering stone that brings misery to millions of people across the globe.” (Tom 11-13). Through the hopping process from one country to the other, the editor Zoellner had to probe how “Blood diamonds” are used to fund deadly wars in Africa, makes India push for Israel and Belgium out of the gem trade, make De Beers identify new markets to exploit as well as linking diamond to the conventional yuino ceremony in Japan.
Precisely, the journalists visited almost ten places around the globe in order to establish what the diamond stone entails, and these areas are not limited to the Drying Stars in Central African Republic, Canada, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Stone mills in India the DeBeers in London and in the United States. In Every visit, he used to interview individuals such as couples, diamond miners and diamond merchants concerning what the diamond stone entails, what makes it to be highly overrated in terms of price and perceptions or beliefs. He visited Japan in order to establish the manner in which diamonds associated with engagements and incorporated in the American history of romance with the diamond ring. Through all these visits, he sought for the answer to the question, “Why has one stone created empires, ruined lives, inspired lusts and emptied wallets throughout history.”(Tom, 21-23). Through the visits, he found out that Canada gets approximately 1.2 billion worth of rough diamonds out of the tundra per year while enforcing tough environmental laws, a diamond company in Florida uses Siberian high pressure chambers in order to create low cost chemically perfect diamonds, Brazilian miners discovers rich concentration of the river diamonds but embezzles the loot on booze and prostitutes and finally ruined by a dishonest money changer, and Central African Republic together with Brazilian mines abuses the rights of miners in order to get diamonds (Tom 93-119).
Evaluation: An analytical/critical writing
I do concur with the author`s argument that there are numerous evils that are committed in order to access diamond, yet it is valued by most individuals in terms of the price and possession. First, it is so ironic that most girls value a diamond made ornament, such as earring, necklace or engagement ring. The engagement ring is expensive but it is not a guarantee that the relationship between couples will last. For example, the relationship between Mr. Zoellner and his girlfriend did not last despite the fact that the former had purchased a diamond ring for her (Tom 17). Consecutively, I have never contemplated the reason why most individuals attach so much emotional significance to a piece of jewelry. In the modern world, it is rare for a man to propose to his girlfriend with a diamond ring and the latter fail to accept or give in to the request. Initially, I used to contemplate that this is so due to the fact that most individuals in the modern world are highly attached to material things. It is until, I read Zoellner`s book that I have contemplated that most individuals attach emotional significant to diamond jewelries.
Moreover, diamond stone is associated with price fixing, and exploitation of its customers. Precisely, price fixing is illegal in most countries including the United States, as it is associated with dishonesty and corruption. In most states, any individual or organization that is found guilty of price-fixing is liable to face the full force of the law, and this may entail payments of fines and/or being banned from operating in the respective country. For this reason, I support the author`s claim that the Debeer`s merchants (which are located in London but have established international markets in various countries) was banned from transacting direct businesses in the United States during the late 19th and the early 20th centuries (Tom 133-135).
The book has achieved its purpose since the author has managed to expose the fact that though diamond is highly valued by most individuals, there are numerous atrocities that are associated with it. The rights of most individuals (especially the minors) are violated in order for this stone to be acquired. Most organizations are involved in numerous dishonesty transactions in order to reap high from diamond stones. A good example is the DeBeers transaction, where is tries all means possible to acquire diamond stones at lower prices, but sell them to its customers at elevated prices. In addition, unhealthy price war between organizations that deals with these jewelries creates lasting rivalry, to such an extent that one organization can embrace any means possible in order to outdoor the other.
However, I the book does not convince the reader concerning why the diamond jewelries are associated with engagement matters. Precisely, historically it is known that most men propose to their loved ones with a diamond ring, but the rationale of why the diamond has not been clearly stipulated. Why do individuals fail to go for other rings rather than those which are made of diamond? However, it is convincing to argue that diamond is hard and cannot be easily broken down by external forces, symbolizing that the engagement with a diamond ring will never be easily broken down. Apparently, the argument is contradicted by the fact that Mr. Zoellner`s relationship with her girlfriend did not last despite the former proposing with a diamond ring.
Moreover, the book has failed to explain to the reader the reason that made Mr. Zoellner`s girlfriend to leave him despite her having accepted his proposal of marrying him. Maybe Mr. Zoellner was the cause for the breakup. For my case, I have opened a jewelry shop for selling jewelries, printing love cards and designs and selling flowers to love birds. I do contemplate that jewelries are hot cakes, and most individuals comes for them, especially the diamond ones. I sell the diamond ones higher than the others, and this is due to the fact that they are requested more than the rest. I did know the demand for the diamond rings and necklaces is high everywhere.
Tom Zoellner,. The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire. New York: St. Martins Press, 2006. Print.