It takes perhaps a billion years to make a diamond, and just 87 minutes to shatter so many of the misconceptions audiences have about them in “Nothing Lasts Forever.” Make that eight minutes. That’s roughly the point at which jewelry designer (and “Stone” author) Aja Raden — the only woman interviewed in Jason Kohn’s wild, decade-long delve into the secretive world of the diamond industry — offers up this gem: “The truth about diamonds is: They’re all exactly the same, and none of them are really worth anything.”
For some, that revelation could hit with the force of being told there’s no Santa Claus, even though it’s been an open secret for ages. Most audiences probably already have some inkling of how the De Beers diamond cartel took a not-particularly-rare stone and infused it with value by cornering the market, stockpiling most of the world’s supply and controlling the release at such a rate as to set the price.
(This phenomenon is hardly limited to gems.) None of this would matter if the demand weren’t there, but it is, thanks to one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time: the infamous “A diamond is forever” tagline, whereby De Beers convinced the world that only a diamond would do for wedding engagement purposes.
All of this context is entertainingly woven throughout “Nothing Lasts Forever,” though the core of Kohn’s inquiry concerns the emergence of synthetic diamonds and how these lab-grown alternatives are affecting the market — a market that was human-made to begin with, somewhere between tulip bulbs and NFTs in the loony history of mass delusions.
For the rest of this review: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/nothing-lasts-forever-review-brilliant-223725344.html