Celebs Blasted for Wearing Diamonds

I’m confused. I mean, I saw “Blood Diamond”. I’ve kept up with the seemingly daily industry commentary about it. And I am 100% behind the industry and its consumers doing absolutely E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G possible to avoid ever repeating the horrors depicted in the film.

That said, I’m a little lost as to how we got from the point where film-makers and stars were urging the public to not boycott diamonds (and thus hurt the already fragile African economy) to the point where Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce are being blasted by “humanitarian groups” for wearing diamonds to the Golden Globes.

The two wore diamonds as part of the Diamond Information Center’s Raise Your Right Hand Ring for Africa campaign, in which the DIC donates to African charities in exchange for wearing diamonds. The initiative aims to increase awareness and education about how diamonds are vital to the key diamond-producing nations around the world, particularly in Africa.

Groups like Global Witness lashed out at the celebs and the DIC immediately, labeling it as a P.R. move to counteract bad publicity generated by “Blood Diamond“.

Okaaaaay, and the point is?

The stars are wearing diamonds and assuring the public—perhaps those who are a little wary after seeing the film—that it is okay to wear diamonds. That not every piece of jewelry was created in exchange for someone’s limb.

If we’re all in agreement that boycotting diamonds and leaving African countries without their primary source of income is NOT the answer, why is promoting diamonds “rather disgusting” as one Global Witness campaigner reportedly called it.

I find what happened in Sierra Leone disgusting. And I am not proud that the industry didn’t have a quicker or swifter response at the time. I also realize that we need to continue to police ourselves and the diamond supply chain to help improve conditions for those living in diamond producing nations. But to the humanitarian groups riding this wave of publicity and trying to dry up diamond demand with moves like criticizing J. Lo or Beyonce for promoting the gems, I ask what you hope to accomplish if stars, jewelers and the public stop buying diamonds? What happens to the survivors of that bloody war and those in other African nations dependent on the diamond trade?

To J. Lo and Beyonce, I say, Go Girls! And, to reassure you both, just know that I, too, was out on the town sporting my diamonds last week! (Though not on a red carpet. And there was no paparazzi. And my diamond earrings are so small you have to be standing really close to see them. But, still… )