Diamonds in Print
Since the beginning of the written word with the adoption of Cuneiform writing, and Hieroglyphs, the permanence of the written word has paid homage to the enduring nature of diamonds. The very word ‘diamond’ is adamas the Greek word that defines the unconquerable nature of the hardest of substances, the only substance that can scratch another diamond. Since the first diamonds were cut and polished, they have been captured in literatute, art, photography, and film. Their place in popular writing plays testament to the permanence of both diamonds and the written word.
Here we have just a few of the many stories and books inspired by diamonds.
Diamonds are Forever
Ian Fleming’s novel, made into film, relating to a diamond smuggling ring, infiltrated by Peter Franks, the false identity of James Bond. He joins forces with Tiffany Case, to uncover Blofeld’s secret operation, involving large quantities of rough diamonds that are used in the creation of a large weapon of mass destruction.
The Diamond as Big as the Ritz
F Scott Fitzgerald’s story about John T. Unger a boy who goes to stay with his school friend, Percy Washington – who’s family have a hidden secret. They live upon a diamond as large as the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The Eustace Diamonds
Anthony Trollope writes about Lizzie Greystock (who is “more beautiful than the truth”) the pathological liar who marries Sir Florian Eustace. Despite her pathological lies, Sir Florian Eustace leaves a will in place, and questions of ownership surround the Eustace Diamonds, a family heirloom and necklace that the Eustace family want returned.
The Diamond Smugglers
Another Ian Fleming work, this time a non-fictional account of diamond smuggling from Africa in the 1950’s. The book nears Bond levels of espionage surrounding the counter-intelligence efforts to bring the diamond smuggling under control.
The Diamond Hunters
Wilbur Smith creates a fictional work which centres around the Van Der Byl diamond company. Left the company by his late father, Benedict sets out to destroy his estranged foster-brother Johnny Lance, who receives the help of co-heir and daughter Tracey, who acquires a diamond rich concession off the South African South coast. Benedict’s obsessive jealousy is ultimately his undoing.
The Diamond Maker
H.G. Wells short story about a man who learns how to create diamonds. After a lifetime of research and now with the ability to create diamonds, the mystery becomes exactly how to sell them. “Hunger makes a fool of a man,” being one famous quote from the story.
Diamonds have enthralled us, inspiring both fiction and non-fiction on their trade (both illicit and legal) along with their mining, working and the jewels that they become. If you have any further suggestions for famous works of literature involving diamonds, feel free to comment. We can add to the list and create the perfect list of “diamonds in print.”