Huge Diamond Tragedy

The big news in the diamond market last week was that global auction house Sotheby’s failed to hammer off a 72.22-carat, “D” flawless white diamond at its Hong Kong sale. The large diamond which had a pre-sale estimate of $10-12 million, but attracted a final bid of only $9.24 million, according to Sotheby’s press officer Rhonda Yung.

It’s a crying shame Sotheby’s couldn’t persuade a buyer to bid more than $9.24 million for the pretty sparkler. Perhaps the benighted bidder, having failed to meet the undisclosed reserve price, might care to spend that sum on something worthwhile, like the well-being of the people who were exploited to find such baubles. I don’t know if the rock came from one of the diamond mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the per capita annual income is less than $1 per day in that troubled nation, which means the disappointed buyer’s tidy $9 mil would support more than 30,000 people for a year.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds

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3 Responses to Huge Diamond Tragedy

  1. Beth Fehlbaum, Author says:

    I wish more people thought the way you do.

    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience, a story of hope for those who have endured abuse
    Chapter One is online!

  2. Joseph Hunkins says:

    Dave this is a really interesting blog! I’m looking forward to checking in more often. I would have agreed with this “don’t spend on the diamond” post years ago but I’m rethinking these things based on the complex ways that obscenely luxurious items affect the greater economy, which is not a zero sum game. It’s not realistic to expect the super rich to redirect spending to the super poor on their own or to give up their penchant for expensive luxuries, so as social architects how can we find ways to make that spending work better for the poor?

  3. Dave Donelson says:

    Thanks for your comment, Joe. I was being a bit facetious, of course, but there is a legitimate question, as you mention, as to how far down the economic ladder the effects of hyper consumption are felt.

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