Letter: Diamond cut

ALEX DUVAL SMITH ("Trapped in the devil's lair", 8 August) has obviously been taken in by the diamond dealer Vincente Lopez. His assertion that having purchased a 1ct vvs diamond for $500, he can sell it for $150,000 in Switzerland is, I am afraid, the stuff of lunatic ravings such as those of Senor Lopez. Even if the diamond were to be near colourless, the best he might hope for would be nearer the $1,000 mark in its rough state. The current retail price of such a polished stone is unlikely to be in excess of $20,000.

My experience of meeting expatriate diamond dealers in Sierra Leone a few years ago is that living under such appalling conditions slowly drives them mad.


London W1