An opinion piece by NBC news claimed the $30 million diamond Tiffany necklace Beyonce wore in a new ad for the company represents “a story of white supremacy.”
“What is Beyoncé’s Tiffany diamond ad campaign really selling? The diamond necklace’s 82 facets reflect an ugly truth — and an unfinished story of white supremacy and colonialism,” the headline about the 39-year-old singer published Monday read. (RELATED: Beyoncé Fans Blame Singer For Beto O’Rourke Loss To Ted Cruz)
Tiffany & Co.’s new campaign “About Love” features the “Crazy in Love” hitmaker and her husband rapper/record executive Jay-Z. In the pictures and video of the ad, Beyonce wore a black sleeveless dress along with a 128.54-carat yellow Tiffany diamond necklace around her neck. (RELATED: Beyonce And Jay-Z Use Artist’s Illustration Without Permission)
An iconic couple. A prolific artist. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s painting, “Equals Pi” (1982) makes a rare public appearance with two of today’s most respected creative forces, @Beyonce and @sc. #AboutLove #TiffanyAndCo pic.twitter.com/jZM1WbDL69
— Tiffany & Co. (@TiffanyAndCo) August 24, 2021
The piece noted that the Yellow Tiffany Diamond was found in 1877 in the Kimberly diamond mines in South Africa when it was under British rule. The diamond was later purchased by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1878 for $18,000. Today the diamond is estimated to be worth $30 million.
In 2018, Human Rights Watch noted that “the trade in diamonds still gives rise to serious human rights violations.” The United Nations defines a blood diamond, or conflict diamond, as a gem mined in a war zone and used by militias and warlords to finance their operations, Time magazine noted.
— Tiffany & Co. (@TiffanyAndCo) August 25, 2021
Tiffany states on its company website that it has “a zero-tolerance policy toward conflict diamonds” and that it sources its diamonds “only from known sources and countries that are participants in the Kimberley Process.”
The piece noted that, given this definition, the Yellow diamond couldn’t technically be identified as a blood diamond. However, given the age and history of the gem, Washington Post opinion piece noted the high “likelihood that it has contributed in some way to the bloody (and ongoing) fighting over the continent’s resources” along with the “socioeconomic and racial inequality perpetuated by decades of plundering colonial leaders.”
Following a backlash over her participation in the ad, an unnamed source, reportedly close to her, said the “Halo” hitmaker was “disappointed and angry that she wasn’t made aware of questions about its history,” Daily Mail reported.
The superstar singer’s mother, Tina Knowles, has also defended her daughter by calling those criticizing her “activists.” She also asked how many of the “socially conscious activists owned diamonds” and if they went so far as to find out where the diamonds came from, the piece noted.