In the Catoca diamond mine in Angola, a worker named Enano do Nascimento uncovered a rare pink diamond. It was the largest pink diamond yet discovered. He was given a bonus of 1,000 Angolan kwanza (about $6). That night he celebrated with his family and his children ate well for a month.

The mining conglomerate auctioned the pink diamond, ‘The Angolan Star,’ at Sotheby’s in London.  Several collectors, governments and companies bid, but the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company won.He paid $30 million.

He renamed the pink diamond ‘The American Star’. It sat in his office in Santa Clara for six months.

Then the diamond was shipped to China. At a factory, it was broken down and used to make 5000 limited edition mobile phones with ultra strong pink shaded screens. They sold at $10,000 each and sold out within one day.

Three months later all the limited edition mobile phones were recalled after reports of explosions while charging. An investigation revealed substandard cheap internal wiring was the cause. All the handsets were destroyed.


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© Jade M. Wong

Flash fiction story run by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Write a story based on the prompt photo (above). Many thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting the challenge. Learn more HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, click HERE.

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50 thoughts on “THE AMERICAN STAR

    1. Ah, hadn’t thought of that! Very devious. I was thinking more along the lines of the cost of the outside look wasn’t matched by cutting costs on cheap parts inside – but your idea is a good one 🙂

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      1. Agreed that products from a certain country in Asia have higher stats for being defective that put lives at risk, your story gives a lot of food for thought. so it could go many different ways. i also thought of sabotage at one point, a good story makes me think all sorts. Nice job!

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  1. Iain, another great short. The twist is perfect and it is also a very true one . You got everything in here from the poor worker to the money that changed hands to really how we don’t appreciate or value anything.

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  2. Lol! This story did not go the way I expected it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. There’s a subtle warning of greed and consumerism hiding between the lines, I think. Really fascinating take on the photo!

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  3. Very creative Ian. Interesting, the guy who found the diamond only gets $6.00. A lot to him, but he should have got much more. But a corrupt world I guess and the guy who bought it paying $30 million probably didn’t blink. Also, interesting him breaking the jewel down into cell phones. In the end I’m kind of glad, this guys cheapness caught up to him. Hopefully, the phones had warranties.

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    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed and got the message from it I was trying to convey – taking something of beauty from the world and destroy in it for personal gain. It never ends well.

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  4. Wow! I love how you wrote such a detailed story within the word limit! … I also like how you got the typical trait of humans who try to take short cuts/cheat …simply to save/make more money for themselves…. first the mining company, then the tech firm… A fitting end to it all. Fantastic story!

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  5. Considering the most recent recall, this is a timely piece. And also, the selfishly small payment the miner received…this speaks to how little people are paid for giving us 1st world countries what we want.
    Well that’s my take on your take and I liked your take.
    Ellespeth

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  6. A wonderful story, Iain. I hope the tech company and its CEO lost a lot of money dealing with the aftermath! A great depiction of modern society – when making money and owning the latest gadgets takes precedence over conserving the beauties of the natural world.
    By the way, I thought I’d commented on this a few days a go, but I can’t see it in the list. I apologise if I’m repeating myself!

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