Until the mid-19th century to own a diamond was a great luxury. The mass distribution of the diamonds came only thanks to De Beers.
The English businessman Cecil Rhodes took part indirectly in the diamond rush in South Africa in mid ‘800, by renting water pumps to the pioneers who search diamonds. Rhodes had the idea that diamonds came only from certain field and not by all, then in 1888 was created a Consortium with large and small landowners including the brothers De Beer mine, hence the name of the first diamond-mining consortium: De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, laying the foundations of the largest and most profitable monopoly of the 20th century.
If South Africa were the mines of De Beers diamonds from which they came, in the early ‘900, under the leadership of new owner Ernest Oppenheimer (the Anglo-American Co.) were settled in London and Tel Aviv the arms trade dedicated to distribution, especially in London, where they opened the famous Sights: a group of selected buyers meets (now at Gaborone in Botswana) 10 times a year to buy (or decline) in block, at a predetermined price, a “box” of rough diamonds.
We understand how the system has enabled De Beers to control, for an entire century, quantities and also prices by controlling the quality placed on the market. The mechanism began to break in the years 1980-90 when, in addition to the union protests, the governments of the mines countries (Russia, Botswana, South Africa, Canada, Australia) began to not renew the rights of land use, leaving the syndicate of De Beers, to operate freely on the market. This revolution in the business of De Beers continued under the ownership of the company directly in the perimeter of the giant Anglo-American (always Oppenheimer family) by licensing the brand De Beers to LVMH French group to directly address to the retail market.
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