By: Rumnik K Ghuman
On Vogue last week, Tiffany & Co launched its new campaign with Beyoncé and Jay-Z. The main purpose of the “About Love” campaign is still uncertain, but has received many negative reactions. For one reason, the diamond, Beyoncé wore in the promotional pictures. A 128.54 carat yellow diamond is a priceless piece of Tiffany’s collection. It’s amazing how Beyoncé is the fourth woman and the first black woman to wear that diamond. But why did Beyoncé draw adverse attention to this campaign?
The story goes back to 1877 in South Africa when Kimberley was mining diamonds during the British colonial regime. These rocks were more than a hundred years old and are considered blood diamonds. African workers were forced to extract a certain quantity of diamonds, otherwise Revolutionary United Font would cut each other’s hands or legs. This horrible act of blood would happen in war zones and in difficult times for Africans, such as discrimination. That is why they were named Blood Diamonds during this period.
This bad story brought a huge defamation to Beyoncé’s mark, as an African-American herself and never supported the exploitation of Africans. For example, “Black is King” on Disney, is one of many projects produced by Beyoncé to decolonize black masculinity. According to Beyoncé’s close friends, she did not know the history of this rock and would never have worn it. It was the first time Beyoncé and Jay-Z had participated in a joint campaign.
Tiffany & Co has completely denied that the diamond is a blood diamond since they have taken “rigorous measures” to ensure that conflict diamonds do not appear in its inventory. As stated in their website, “As global leaders in sustainable luxury, Tiffany & Co. is committed to sourcing natural and precious materials in an ethical and sustainable manner. We have a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds, and source our diamonds only from known sources and countries that are participants in the Kimberley Process.” As the audience still can’t accept to believe Tiffany, back in 2003, The Kimberley Process was created by the UN to eliminate all blood diamonds to enter the mainstream diamond market.
360 Magazine finds it difficult to accept that the necklace is a blood diamond, and that it is on Beyoncé, an African woman herself. It is not fair that she is receiving such negative attention for wearing this necklace. Whereas Lady Gaga had worn this same necklace in 2019 in the Oscars awards and didn’t receive any negative feedback. Many fans showed up on Twitter to express their feelings. There are a number of sides to the story of whether or not Beyoncé knew about the diamond. And, she didn’t choose the diamond to wear herself.
Since we’ve all heard of Jay-Z’s music, his raps include a majority of meanings on buying goods, art and jewelry. It is ironic that this raises the subject of the enormous piece of art that is presented in the campaign. It’s from Jean-Michel Basquiat, who recently passed away. Basquiat was a Puerto Rican/Haitian American painter better known to be a star of anti-settlement graffiti. His work reflected racial and social consciousness.
This campaign did not receive the recognition it wanted with the ultimate message behind “About Love”. Many people have realized the ugly truth about an unfinished history of white supremacy and colonialism of that campaign and the diamond industry. The campaign highlighted more brutal African history than “About Love.”