Audio and Interviews

National Public Radio. "Talk of the Nation," May 24, 2006

WBUR, Boston. "Here and Now," Dec. 6, 2006

KQED, San Francisco. "Forum," June 8, 2006

Canadian Broadcasting Company. "The Current," Dec. 8, 2006

National Public Radio. “All Things Considered,” July 1, 2002

KUER, Utah.  "RadioWest," March 19th, 2009

American Public Media. "Marketplace," March 27th, 2009



Why are diamonds such a big deal in America?

It’s now a $25 billion dollar business. Seven out of every ten American women own at least one. But as it turns out, the idea of a diamond as a popular luxury item is fairly new in this country. A magazine advertising campaign sponsored by De Beers created the consumer desire just a few years before World War II. They sought to make diamonds not just rare, but essential for every man seeking to get married.
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How did you decide to launch your research for The Heartless Stone in the Central African Republic, a country with only one legitimate way in or out for foreigners?

There were reports about this nation being a way-station for diamond smuggling. I wanted to see if this was true. It was also a good place to look at the remote mines where diamonds are mined from the riverbeds. The Central African Republic also represents a puzzle, which I think is one of the central puzzles of the book.
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Several times in the book you talk about how diamonds are artificially rare. How do we know that?

We don’t have any idea how many there are still buried in the ground. That's a geological mystery. One thing is for sure: There is no free market in diamonds. This market exists because of artificial scarcity. If diamonds were treated like any other commodity like copper or cobalt or what have you, the price would plummet.
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