Blood Sweat and Earth

In 1735 a declaration made before an Amsterdam notary described the bad behaviour of diamond polisher Juriaan Hupker, who pressed his disc so hard that Antje Hendriks could hardly turn the mill. She also complained that Hupker was ...

Blood  Sweat and Earth

Blood Sweat and Earth

A sweeping history of our enduring passion for diamonds—and the exploitative industry that fuels it. Blood, Sweat and Earth is a hard-hitting historical exposé of the diamond industry, focusing on the exploitation of workers and the environment, the monopolization of uncut diamonds, and how little this has changed over time. It describes the use of forced labor and political oppression by Indian sultans, Portuguese colonizers in Brazil, and Western industrialists in many parts of Africa—as well as the hoarding of diamonds to maintain high prices, from the English East India Company to De Beers. While recent discoveries of diamond deposits in Siberia, Canada, and Australia have brought an end to monopolization, the book shows that advances in the production of synthetic diamonds have not yet been able to eradicate the exploitation caused by the world’s unquenchable thirst for sparkle.

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