Quick and Easy Buying Guide

Carat weight: 1 carat = 200 milligrams = 6.5 mm diameter. Doubling weight doesn't double diameter.

Diamond clarity: FL/IF/VVS/VS = super expensive, near perfect. SI = best value if you can check a photo for obvious inclusions (defects).


Color: D-G = colorless, expensive, only if you have money to burn. H-J = best value. Can go lower in gold metal settings than white metal.

Cut: Better cut ratings let more light into a diamond, making it sparkle more. Very important property, don't skimp here.

Set a budget and minimum cut (Premium). Go J color for gold and I/H for white metals. Go searching for SI1/SI2 clarity diamonds at James Allen. Pick a diamond with small/no inclusions. Choose a ring setting and buy it risk-free (60-day returns).

Blood Diamond Movie

Edward Zwick is one of my favourite movie directors and has directed a number of films which I have highly enjoyed. His films include The Last Samurai and Defiance. This review is specifically about his movie Blood Diamond, which came out in 2006 and focused on the issue of conflict or blood diamonds.

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The film had a stellar cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and the relative newcomer Djimon Hounsou. It was nominated for five Academy Awards, including two best actor and supporting actor gongs for the two male leads.

The plot centres around a fisherman in Africa whose village is invaded by rebels. The fisherman has a wife and son, and his son is forced to become part of the militia, while the father fisherman Solomon is forced to work in the mines looking to diamonds to fund the rebels campaign.

The story initially runs in parallel with another track following Danny Archer, a somewhat unethical mercenary who trades in illicit diamonds and guns. A chance encounter with Solomon leads to Archer teaming up with him in order to try and find a huge pink diamond that Solomon found while working in the mines.

The two male leads join up with a journalist played by Jennifer Connelly, who gives them transport in a convoy in exchange for an inside story about blood diamonds, a topic both of the men know much about, but from very different perspectives.

There is much action and drama in the end of the movie which I won't spoil here. Needless to say, it's a movie that has a profound effect and makes you leave the cinema thinking.

The film honestly stirred up the international diamond community quite significantly. Several companies including DeBeers went into overdrive to try and reduce any potential backlash against diamonds. The film is also known for graphically showing much of the human rights abuses including the amputation of people's arms so they can't vote or hold a weapon, as well as the training and brainwashing of child soldiers including the son of Solomon.

The film also divided reviewers, although the general consensus was positive. Interestingly, there is a big discrepancy between the ratings of two major movie review sites. Rotten Tomatoes has an average rating of only 62%, giving the film just a fresh film rating. However, on movie site IMDb the film has an average score of 8/10, which is quite high for a movie and probably doesn't leave the movie that far out of the top 250 reviewed movies on IMDb.