The domain name nodiamonds.com was originally purchased for an informational website on the realities of the diamond industry. Slowly it became evident that it would also be a good name for a company. It captures the belief in the virtue of simple approach, as opposed to surface flashiness, but ultimately impractical and hard to use.
To illustrate this point, here is a Suzuki Roshi quote from his book, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” (Goodreads link):
“If you continue this simple practice everyday, you will obtain some wonderful power. Before you attain it, it is something wonderful, but after you attain it, it is nothing special.”
no diamonds also stands for “nothing special” as described in the quote above. It represents the “something wonderful” which takes a lot of effort and dedication, but once achieved it seems the obvious solution and you wonder why you could not see it clearly before. This is the hidden jewel within no diamonds.
Here is information about the diamond industry, both from the supply side and the demand side.
You can start with the Wikipedia entry on Blood Diamonds (or Conflict Diamonds)
- de Beers cartel: see Salon.com article on the de Beers monopoly and the industry as a whole.
- “Conflict diamonds”, which fund wars in Africa: see the UN’s page and Amnesty International’s take on it.
- Ecological consequences of extraction: the American University on diamond extraction in Liberia.
- Marketing diamonds as putting a price on love: check out de Beers’ spending guidelines. That page also mentions that 83% of brides receive a diamond engagement ring.
- The “largest ring arms race” effect.
- Artificial substitutes exist. See LifeGem, a company which sells high quality diamonds created from the carbon of a loved one.
- Ten Reasons Why You Should Not Accept a Diamond Ring Even If They Really Want to Give You One
- Grist.org’s article on alternatives to a new diamond ring. By the way, Grist.org is a fun environmental newsletter.
Books on the Diamond Industry
- Diamond : A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession by Matthew Hart (Amazon.com link)
- Barren Lands: An Epic Search for Diamonds in the North American Arctic by Kevin Krajick (Amazon.com link)
- Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stones by Greg Campbell (Amazon.com link)
The Co-op Bank’s Diamond Pledge
“I pledge my support for an effective Kimberley Process, including regular, impartial monitoring of all participant countries and for meaningful action by the diamond trade to stamp out conflict diamonds.”
But then… What about gold?