Read the room next time you step into a jewellers. You may sense a gnaw of anxiety. The cause is laid bare in Nothing Lasts Forever, Jason Kohn’s funny, caustic documentary of panic in the diamond industry.
Having just about persuaded consumers to forget its grisly history in African war zones, the existential threat to the trade these days is “synthetics”: lab-grown stones impossible to tell from the real thing. Technology is killing even bling.
The business seen here is the same junction of geoscience, psychology and outsize characters that inspired 2019 cult hit Uncut Gems. Kohn heads for the stretch of Midtown Manhattan that backdropped that film, the fabled Diamond District.
Here, the status quo is defended by cartoonish industry veteran Martin Rapaport. His basic pitch — and grasp of gender relations — feel unchanged since Marilyn Monroe sang of a girl’s best friend in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Still, some of his logic is sturdy enough. The diamond remains a hard-wired symbol of romantic commitment.
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