National Geographic Has Cover Story on Diamonds

The conflict diamond issue continues to appear in the press—most recently, on the cover of the March National Geographic.

While the story by Andrew Cockburn was not as negative toward the industry as some previous stories on the issue, it did feature some typically gruesome pictures of Sierra Leone child amputees. The Editor’s Letter probably took the harshest tack, linking diamonds with al Qaeda terrorists. The article quoted an Angolan man’s comment that “diamonds have been a curse on Angola. Without diamonds, the war wouldn’t last as long.” However, the article also included Nelson Mandela’s remark: “If there was a boycott of diamonds, the economies of Namibia and Botswana would collapse.”

The article featured a brief history of the De Beers cartel as well as scenes inside the cutting factories of New York dealer William Goldberg.