, Matthew Hart embarks on a journey into an obsessive, largely hidden, and utterly fascinating world.
The geology of diamonds explains how hard it is to find them. Diamonds are accidents of nature, carbon crystals compressed deep underground billions of years ago; parts of them, it is even thought, may predate the Earth itself. They are also elusive, carried to the surface only in slender volcanoes known as "pipes," most of which are actually barren.
Weaving science and history throughout his story, Hart follows the diamond trail around the globe - from the basement room where Gabi Tolkowsky, the world's greatest cutter, faced the 599-carat Centenary diamond, to the fog-bound smugglers' paradise of Africa's Diamond Coast, to the London sales rooms of De Beers, which manages the longest-running cartel in modern business history - encountering characters as memorable as the stones they seek.
By revealing the layers and inner workings of the diamond industry, and the inherent excitement and human drama that sustain it, Matthew Hart has captured the essence of an exotic substance and its world as surely as a diamond captures light: bending it, reflecting it, and returning it in a blaze of color.
Executive Producer: Jacob Bronstein
Producer: Robert Kessler
Abridgement by David Smith
©2001 Matthew Hart
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.
Published by arrangement with Walker Publishing Company, Inc.