Beyoncé is claiming innocence about “blood diamonds.” The superstar apparently didn’t know about the “blood diamond” history before taking part in Tiffany & Co.’s latest ad campaign in which she dons the famed jewelry company’s legendary $30 million, 128.54-carat yellow Tiffany diamond.
Blood diamonds are gems whose trade is “based on aggression or violence of any kind,” according to Britannica.
Mined from a colonial diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1877, the Tiffany diamond has been labeled a blood diamond because when South Africa was under British colonial rule, Black laborers were forced to work there in horrendous conditions.
An unnamed source close to Beyoncé told The Sun that the superstar singer was “disappointed and angry” that she “wasn’t made aware of questions about (the diamond’s) history.”
“She thought that every final detail had been vetted, but now she realizes that the diamond itself was overlooked,” the source said.
The ad campaign also features Beyoncé’s husband, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z. Beyoncé is the first Black woman to ever wear the infamous gem.
Tiffany and Beyoncé have faced major backlash over the campaign. Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, has been hitting back at her daughter’s critics on social media.
Jay-Z appeared on the 2005 remix of the Kanye West Grammy Award-winning song, “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” The music video goes in depth into blood diamonds mined in Africa.
Lady Gaga wore the yellow Tiffany diamond to the 2019 Academy Awards.
Twitter defended Beyoncé.
“Lady Gaga wore that diamond necklace and it was all love but as soon as it lands on Beyoncé’s neck y’all suddenly remember where it’s from and how it’s a blood diamond,” @Des_Ti_M tweeted in defense of Beyoncé.
“It was a blood diamond, then too,” She Who Remains @ehs06702 tweeted. “The shame is on Tiffany’s, not Beyonce, though. I have no quibble with her wearing it for an ad. Not like she owns it.”
Ray Gatsby @ShadrockQSC tweeted, “They are mad at her for wearing the diamond, whose history can’t be changed but overlook the fact that the Carters got Tiffany & Co to put $2M towards HBCU scholarships. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t smh”.
Financial support for HBCUs was part of the power couple’s partnership with Tiffany. Tiffany said the ad campaign reflects its continued support of underrepresented communities and it has pledged $2 million for scholarships and internships at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), according to a press release.
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