Real diamonds have captured people’s imaginations for centuries, so it’s only natural that Hollywood would use fictional diamonds to raise the stakes and inject a bit of drama into their movies. At Diamond Lighthouse, we’re fascinated by diamonds, and we’re always interested in how they’re portrayed in film. Here are 10 of the most well-known uses of diamonds in major Hollywood movies.
Guy Ritchie’s second feature film centers on a gambling addict trying to fence a stolen 84-carat diamond. Predictably, dealing with criminal diamond dealers doesn’t go well and the massive rock ends up getting swallowed by a dog. Don’t ask. By the end, there’s been a confusing series of twists and turns involving British gangsters, bare-knuckle boxers and a visit to the veterinarian. Don’t worry, the dog lives.
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller. The film stars Cary Grant playing a retired jewel thief attempting to clear his name after a string of diamond thefts occur near his home in the French Riviera. As “The Cat,” Grant must use all the skills he picked up as a jewel thief to escape the police, find the real diamond thief and clear his name.
8. Marathon Man
Dustin Hoffman stars as a marathon runner and Ph.D. candidate who gets caught up in a Nazi war criminal’s plot to recover and sell a large collection of diamonds taken from Jews at Auschwitz. Minor spoiler: this is the second movie on this list that shows a diamond being eaten. It’s not quite as funny in this one though.
A successful diamond heist is only the beginning of this comedy written by and starring former Monty Python member John Cleese. After the heist, the criminals try to double-cross each other and the diamonds are hidden. The ensuing search leads to interrupted liaisons, a courtroom brawl and a man eating live fish. The things people will do for stolen gems.
Diamonds don’t figure heavily into the plot of this classic movie-musical, but there was no way we were going to leave out Marilyn Monroe’s iconic “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Playing a showgirl hoping to find a rich man to marry, Monroe sings and dances while well-dressed men shower her with sparkling diamonds. Square-cut or pear shape, these rocks don’t lose their shape.
Even James Bond can’t resist the allure of these sparkling hunks of superheated carbon. Sean Connery’s last official Bond movie has the MI6 agent posing as a diamond smuggler to locate a cache of diamonds stolen from a South African mine. Bond soon learns his old enemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld intends to use the diamonds to build a giant laser to destroy Washington D.C. That would be the silliest use of diamonds on this list if it weren’t for…
In the first sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy comes across an Indian village where a malicious cult has kidnapped all the children and stolen the village’s Sankara stone, a relic containing a diamond with mystical powers. The cult believes that by collecting all five Sankara Stones, they can rule the world. At one point, Indy makes the stones glow red and burn the cult’s high priest, Mola Ram. Sillier than a diamond laser? Probably. Still a fun movie? Definitely.
This 2006 political thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio follows the mining, trade and sale of conflict diamonds, ending with a depiction of the real-life meeting that led to the creation of the Kimberly Process, which aims to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds. The plot centers on an enslaved fisherman who finds a valuable pink raw diamond and tries to escape slavery while keeping it from falling into the hands of African warlord Captain Poison.
This classic series of comedies follows the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, most famously played by Peter Sellers. In most (but not all) of the movies, Clouseau attempts to track down the valuable pink diamond “The Pink Panther,” so named for a flaw inside the gem that resembles a panther. That flaw leads to some of the most memorable and entertaining opening credits sequences in film history.
Based on the famous real-life Hope Diamond, “The Heart of the Ocean” was given to Rose Calvert by her fiancé and features heavily in the plot of this historical romance. The jewelry consists of a large blue diamond set in a necklace. Fun fact: the prop was created by London jewelers Asprey and Garrard using cubic zirconia set in white gold.
With all the beautiful, valuable diamonds in movies, it can make your own jewelry seem dull and lifeless by comparison. At the very least, movie diamonds can cause cravings for something a little fancier. If you’re looking to upgrade a diamond, Diamond Lighthouse can help you sell your old jewelry and make sure you get the most money from your diamonds. You might even be able to afford a diamond like the ones in the movies. You know, without all the jewel thieves getting involved.