The Diamond Trade: History & Culture of the Key Players (Who owns the “Blood Diamonds”)?

Posted: November 21, 2011 in Children and Child Rights, Education, Geopolitics, Politics, Uncategorized, Youths and Nation
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Courtesy : http://www.allaboutgemstones.com/ 

Note: This article is published for public awareness only. All commercial and Intellectual Property of the article is owned by the original researcher.

The Afrikaners & British
Diamonds and the Jews
The Hindustani Diamond Cutters
The African Nationals
The Americans

Diamonds and the Afrikaners

 

Petrus Jourbert, Andries Pretorius, & Jan Smuts

 

Photos:The Boers

Historically, Afrikaners (aka Boers or farmers) were religious refugees from the Netherlands and other parts of northern Europe during the mid 1600s to late 1700s, most with Dutch Calvinist, Flemish, or German Protestant backgrounds. They settled in the ‘Cape of Good Hope‘ on Africa’s southern most tip, which at the time was administered by the ‘Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie‘ or ‘Dutch East India Company.’

During the 1830s and 1840s, there was a mass exodus (the Great Trek) northward to ‘Northern Cape,’ ‘Limpopo,’ ‘Gauteng,’ and the ‘Orange Free State’ provinces to escape hostilities with the native ‘Xhosa tribe’ from which Nelson Mandela decended. Afrikaners who participated in the migration northward became known as the ‘Trekboer’ or Voortrekkers, who were in search of the “quiet sweet life.” Three of South Africa’s richest diamond mines are in Northern Cape (Kimberley Diamond Mine), Gauteng (Premier Diamond Mine), and Limpopo (Venetia Diamond Mine).

The Voortrekkers had to contend with the native Zulu tribe over land they wished to settle on, and this eventually lead to all-out war, with 10,000 Zulu warriors attacking 470 Boer settlers. There was not a single Boer fatality, but 3000 Zulus were killed in what became known as the ‘Battle of Blood River.’ After the devastating Zulu defeat, the Zule’s King Dingane agreed to a treaty allowing the Voortrekkers to settle in what would be called the Natalia Republic or Boer republics.


Diamonds and the British

The Second Wave of Europeans

Needing a stopping-off point on the sea-route to Australia and India, England seized the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East India Company in 1797, and fully annexed the Cape Colony in 1806 [24]. The First Boer War (1880—1881) began with the Transvaal (Limpopo) Boers declaring independence from Great Britain.

The Boers resisted British encroachments into their territory until the Second ‘Anglo’ Boer War (1899—1902), ending with the inclusion of all Boer territories into British colonies, under the Treaty of Vereeniging. This led to a new wave of emigrants and adventurer-seekers from England, coming for the “mineral revolution.” In 1906, self-government was restored, and in 1910 the ‘Union of South Africa’ was created.

Amid all of this turmoil and chaos, a curious discovery was being made along the banks of the Orange River, in Northern Cape…

Cecil Rhodes

Photo: Cecil Rhodes

Cecil Rhodes (1853—1902) is the undisputed father of the modern diamond industry. As founder of De Beers, he was able to build a monopolistic empire through skill and cunning, although Rhodes did not start out with an interest in diamonds. As a young lad from England, he began his business interests in South Africa by servicing the “ant hill” of humanity that was descending on Kimberley during the diamond rush of the late 1800s. Rhodes started out selling ice cream to the diamond-diggers and service workers, and later selling steam-powered water pumps to drain the open-pit mines of Kimberley.

Cecil Rhodes’ De Beers empire was started on a farm owned by two Boer settlers and brothers, D. A. and J. N. De Beer. Around 1873 the De Beer brothers sold out to a group of mining syndicates who later merged with Cecil Rhodes’ pumping company to form ‘De Beers Consolidated Mines.’ Cecil Rhodes died a single man with no children and, no heirs to his empire. The African nation of Rhodesia was named after him (now the Republic of Zimbabwe).

Barney Barnato

Photo: Barney Barnato

During the same period that Cecil Rhodes was building De Beers Consolidated Mines, a prospector, diamond speculator and fellow Englishman named Barney Barnato (1852—1897) was buying up pieces of the Big Hole in Kimberley to form the Kimberley Central Mine. De Beers and Kimberley Central were the two largest mining interests in South Africa at the time.

With the help of the Rothschild bank in London, Rhodes made several aborted attempt to gain control over Barnato’s interest in Kimberley Central Mine, but was eventually successful in convincing Barnato to merge with De Beers. In exchange, Barnato was given appointed to ‘life governor’ and temporary controlling interest in De Beers [6]. One of the richest men in the world, Barnato died several years later, mysteriously falling overboard on a ship passage back to England.

Photo: Thomas M. Cullinan

Sir Thomas Major Cullinan (1860—1936) was the founder of one of Africa’s richest diamond mines, the ‘Premier Diamond Mine,’ 30 kilometers east of Pretoria, in Gauteng province, South Africa. Although Cullinan was already a successful building contractor in Johannesburg, he was also an amateur geologist who had heard about alluvial diamonds being found along a stream near the old ‘Cornelis Minnaar Farm’ in upper Gauteng. Cullinan was interested in purchasing the farm, which had already changed hands several times, but the present owner, Willem Prinsloo (who had purchased the land for £570 in 1861) was not interested in selling.

Shortly after the close Anglo Boer War (1898—1902), Willem Prinsloo’s widow agreed to sell the land to Cullinan for £52,000, and the ‘Transvaal Premier Diamond Mining Company LTD’ was officially registered on the December 1, 1902 [23]. On January 25th 1905, a 3,106 carat diamond was found at the mine, which remains the largest diamond ever found in the world. When news of Premier’s success hit the board room of De Beers, several aborted attempts were made to purchase the mine, but Cullinan had no intention of selling [6].

In 1914, WW1 broke out in Europe, and diamond prices began to spiral. Layoffs at the mine caused enough friction that by August, mining operations were suspended. The Premier Mine had resumed production by January 1916, but in need of cash, Cullinan sold a major stake in the mine to the Transvaal government. Frank Oats, who was now the chairman of De Beers, was able to convince the Transvaal government to sell its controlling interest in 1917, and De Beers once again enjoyed a monopoly on South African diamonds.

Diamonds and the Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Hasidic Jews

There is perhaps no other ethnic group that is so inextricably intertwined with the diamond trade, than the jews. In an odd twist of fate, it may be Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea-route to India around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope in 1488, that set the stage for the Jewish/diamond connection. Da Gama’s discovery opened up a direct diamond-trading route from India’s Malabar Coast and the island of Borneo, to Portugal and on the Netherlands.

With Lisbon now at the forefront of the European diamond trade, many Portuguese Sephardi businessmen opened cutting houses, and quickly gained a dominant roll in the diamond-polishing industry.

The Sephardi were Jews who originated from Spain and Portugal (the Iberian Peninsula), many practicing a secret adherence to Judaism known as “Crypto-Judaism,” while professing other faiths. Jews who practiced their religion in the open were expelled from Spain and Portugal, when the Catholic Monarchs issued the “Alhambra Decree” in 1492 (1497 for Portugal), fleeing to Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, Antwerp and Amsterdam.

When the first Jewish emigrants (Ashkenazi) came to Antwerp in the 1200s, they were welcomed, but when the Black Plague swept across Antwerp in the mid 1300s, the Jews were one of the scapegoats. Although Amsterdam’s Dutch were relatively tolerant when it came to religious freedom, in 1585 Antwerp came under Spanish rule, and the Jews (this time Sephardic), were once again the focus of scrutiny. With the Spanish Inquisition in high gear, Jews were now persecuted for conducting trade with the Ottoman Empire, or for being ‘pseudo-Christian.’

In the 1600s, wealthy Jewish diamond-traders now living in the Netherlands, financed the ‘Dutch East India Company’ and its exploration of new trade routes to India, but the British were beginning to see opportunity in the diamond trade, creating new competition for the Jewish/Dutch.

Prior to being granted ‘civil equality’ in 1796, Amsterdam’s Jews were not allowed to join trade guilds, leaving the unregulated diamond industry as one of the only means of employment. By the late 18th century, many of Amsterdam’s Jews were working in the diamond trade, and many of these ‘Sephardi refugees’ had maintained connections with Portuguese traders who now had a monopoly on the trade of raw diamonds from India.

By the early 1700s, India’s mines were nearing exhaustion, but a new discovery in Brazil helped to re-invigorate the diamond trade. By this time, British naval superiority proved to be a great advantage, and the ‘British East India Company’ was born. The European center for the diamond trade now began to move away from Amsterdam, as Jewish traders set up shop in London. The cut stones were sold to the nobility and royalty of Europe, using the Hofjude (Court Jews) as purchasing agents to select the stones from the London diamond merchants.

Pshevorsk Rabbi

Photo: Public Domain

 The Pshevorsk Hasidic Dynasty

Hasidic Judaism was founded by Polish (now Ukrainian) Rabbi ‘Ba’al Shem Tov’, aka ‘Israel ben Eliezer’ (1698—1760) in a time when European Jews were facing increasing hostility and pressure from the “Cossacks’ Uprising” in Ukraine. The Hasidic movement is a sub-group of the theologically conservative Haredi or Charedi Judaism, aka Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. The movement was seen as a way of turning inward towards a ‘deeper spiritualism and mysticism.’

Hasidism spread westward, making its way to western Europe in the 1800s. The Hasidic movement in Antwerp began with Rabbi Moshe of Pshevorsk, who authored ‘Ohr Pnei Moshe’ in 1805 [26]. The Pshevorsk is a small sub-Hasidic movement based in Antwerp, Belgium, with their hub at the study hall (beth midrash), ‘Beth Yitzchok’ at Mercatorstraat 56.

With the discovery of vast diamond reserves in South Africa during the late 1800s, concern over a glut in the diamond market spread throughout London’s diamond merchants. A group of wealthy Jewish dealers pooled their resources to form “the syndicate,” which was created to soak up all of the excess capacity being created by South Africa.

Today, Antwerp and London’s diamond trade is largely controlled by the Hasidic Jewish community, although Indian influence is on the rise in recent years. Many of these Hasidic entrepreneurs are nameless by choice, preferring to maintain their anonymity, but they have been the driving force behind the multi-billion dollar diamond industry for hundreds of years.

Ernest Oppenheimer

Photo: Alfred Beit

Alfred Beit (1853—1906) was born into a prominent Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. Beit worked for the diamond firm of Jules Porges and Co. in Amsterdam before emigrating to ‘Cape Colony’ in 1875 during the Kimberley diamond-rush [25]. Beit was part of a group of financiers, including Cecil Rhodes, who gained control of the diamond-mining claims in the Central Mine, Dutoitspan Mine, and De Beers Mine, thereby ‘consolodating’ the South African mining industry. becoming a ‘life-governor’ of De Beers Consolidated Mines. He was also the director of the Beira Railway Company, British South Africa Company, Rand Mines, and the Rhodesia Railways.

Beit, along with partner Cecil Rhodes, financed the 1895 ‘Jameson Raid’ which was an attempt to trigger an unsuccessful coup in the South African Republic of Transvaal. The Royal School of Mines, at the Imperial College London has a large memorial to Beit, in recognition of the Beit trust’s bequeathment to the university, and to educational institutions in Britain, Germany South Africa, and Zimbabwe (Rhodesia).

Ernest Oppenheimer

Photo: Sir Ernest Oppenheimer

Ernest Oppenheimer (1880—1957) was born in Friedberg, Germany to a large Jewish family, and with several brothers working for “the syndicate,” Ernest was well positioned for his future vocation. He began his career at age 17, working for the diamond brokerage firm, Dunkelsbuhler & Company in London. Oppenheimer created the concept of “single-channel marketing” over 100 years ago, by funneling the world’s supply of diamonds through a single clearing house. Oppenheimer gained control of Namibia’s diamond mines, forming the Anglo American mining conglomerate. This gave him the financing and power to gain the chairmanship of De Beers.

Today, Oppenheimer’s Anglo American operates a fleet of diamond recovery ships off the coast of Namibia and South Africa under the umbrella of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited (DBCM), and Central Holdings Limited (CHL), an Oppenheimer family holding company, and in partnership with Namdeb.

Nicky Oppenheimer

Photo: Nicky Oppenheimer

Ernest’s grandson, Nicky Oppenheimer (born 1945) studied philosophy at Oxford as a young man, and is now the chairman of the De Beers Diamond Mining Company and its subsidiary Diamond Trading Company. The Oppenheimer family and Anglo American maintains a 45% stake in De Beers today. Africa’s richest man, and #134 on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people, Nicky Oppenheimer is worth an estimated $4.5 billion.

Under new legislation, passed by the African National Congress, Nicky Oppenheimer was forced to sell a 26% share of De Beers to the South African ‘Black Economic Empowerment’ group (BEE). This was the first major ownership change for De Beers in over a century. Of the legislation Oppenheimer said: “De Beers is here to make a profit, but we must benefit the people and communities where we operate.”

Lev Leviev

Photo: Lev Leviev

The Lev Leviev Group, created by Israeli national, Lev Leviev (born 1956 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan) is the worlds largest cutter and polisher (diamantaire) of rough diamonds, with factories in Armenia, India, Israel, and the Ukraine. The Lev Leviev Group also owns mining interests in Namibia’s offshore dredging operations. Through his personal relationship to Vladimir Putin and other Russian heads of state, Lev Leviev has formed a partnership with the ex Soviet state-owned diamond firm, now called ALROSA (Almazy-Rossii-Sakha) [7], formed by Decree 158C of the Russian Federation, in 1992.

By circumventing the De Beers supply chain, Alrosa now sells direct to cutting factories throughout Russia, which are now owned by Lev Leviev. ALROSA produces 100% of Russia’s rough diamond output and approximately 20% of the world’s rough diamonds [9]. Using this model of “local control,” the Leviev Group has found willing partners in several countries including Angola’s ASCORP after De Beers’ exit in 2001. Mr. Leviev’s net-worth is estimated at $2.5 billion (#278 Forbes List). Lev Leviev lives in B’nei Brak, Israel, with his wife and their nine children.


Photo: Laurence Graff

Laurence Graff (1938—) is a DeBeers sightholder, founder of the House of Graff in the heart of London’s posh New Bond Street, and one of the most successful diamond merchants in modern history. Graff’s strategy of “vertically integration” has been to control every angle of the diamond pipeline, from wholesale and retail, to purchasing a 51% stake in Safdico (South African Diamond Corp.), a DeBeers sightholder in Johannesburg, which gives him access to some of the finest uncut diamonds coming out of South Africa.

Raised by his grandparents, Laurence Graff was born into a Jewish orthodox family in London’s poorer ‘East End’ district. Graff has been dubbed the “king of diamonds,” and the “king of bling” by Forbes magazine [28], selling to the rich and famous from Elizabeth Taylor and Donald Trump, to Larry Ellison.

Graff has co-authored (with Vanessa von Zitzewitz) “The Most Fabulous Jewels in the World,” a compendium and history of his most famous jewels.

One of his most notable acquisitions was the 603 carat “Lesotho Promise diamond, found on August 22, 2006 at the Letseng diamond mine in the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho in the center of the Republic of South Africa. Lesotho Promise is the 15th largest diamond ever found, and the largest rough unearthed in this century. It will ultimately be cut into an estimated 20 or so ‘D-flawless’ stones ranging from 75 carats to 1 carat in size.

House of Graff is also located on London’s Sloane Street, and has satellite locations in Wafi City, Dubai; Monte Carlo; New York’s Madison Avenue; Hotel de Paris’ salon privé in Paris; Tretiakovsky Proezd in Moscow, Russia; and on board the luxury residential ship The World ResidenSea. Graff’s net worth is estimated at 2.5 billion dollars [28]. All House of Graff stones have a laser-inscribed girdle with the ‘Graff’ logo and GIA number.

The Hindustani Diamond Cutters

Navinchandra & Co. Board

Photo: dnavin.com

Gujarat’s Indian Diamantaires

Diamonds made their first reluctant appearance in human history over 2400 years ago, and were written about in an ancient Sanskrit manuscript called the “The Lesson of Profit” Arthasastra (c. 320 BC) by Kautiliya, a minister to the Indian king, Chandragupta. The Sanskrit word for ‘diamond’ was vajra, or “thunderbolt.” The Indians would go on to enjoy a singular reign over the diamond-rich dominion—known as Hindustan—for another two thousand years, and although India’s famous “Diamonds of Golconda” were mined-out hundreds of years ago, the Indians would not be giving up their rightful heritage as diamantaires.

Much of India’s diamond trade is controlled by a handful of wealthy families in Gujarat, the Hindustan Diamond Company Ltd. (HDC), and De Beers India. It is estimated that India cuts, polishes, and exports several billion dollars worth of gems per year, and the DTC has demonstrated Gujarat’s power in the diamond cutting/polishing arena by increasing India’s take of its 125 sightholder contracts to nearly 50 in 2006.

Companies like Bhavani Gems, D. Navinchandra & Co (board of directors – above), Gitanjali Gems, M. Suresh & Co, Sanghavi Exports, Shree Ramkrishna Exports, Venus Jewels, and Vijaydimon are family owned operations run by Jains with the common surnames of Jhavari, Mehta, and Shah. Jainism is an ancient Indian religious sect believing in the ‘Jain’ philosophy, based upon eternal, universal truths.

Gitanjali Gems is one of the largest manufacturers of diamonds and diamond jewelry in India, with diamond cutting factories located in Borivali, Mumbai, Gujarat, and Surat’s ‘Special Economic Zone’ [12]. The Indo Argyle Diamond Council (IADC) formed in 1994 as a consortium of Indian jewelry manufacturers and cutting houses, to elevate quality standards, improve perceptions, heighten awareness of ethical business practices, and to develop an “understanding of the world market.” The Bharat Diamond Bourse in Mumbai, is the newest addition to India’s arsenal of global marketing tools to promote exports.

Photo: rosyblue.com

Dilip Mehta

Indian diamantaire, Dilip Mehta of Mumbai, India (born 1949), is the CEO of the ‘Rosy Blue Group’ which is currently one of the world’s largest diamond companies, with $1.7 billion in annual sales [17]. Harshad Mehta (“Diamond King of the world”) is one of the founders of Rosy Blue, and is currently a Senior Partner and head of the UAE division. Several other divisions of the Rosy Blue Group, from Hong Kong to Israel, are headed and staffed by Mehta family members.

Of the $26 billion per year diamond revenues that flow through Antwerp, The Indian communities’ share has grown to around 60%, displacing the Hasidim as the dominant force in the industry [14]. This vast fortune is shared by some 300 to 500 Gujaratis families from Palanpur on the Gujarat-Rajasthan border [15].

Photo: Pub. Domain

Bharat & Vijay Shah

Bharat and Vijay Shah came from a family of jewelers going back three generations. The brothers, both college dropouts, started out thirty years ago by purchasing cheaper stones that the Dutch Hasidim, and Israelis didn’t want to work with [19]. By slowly developing markets, they were able to gain an increasingly larger share of the wholesale diamond trade, propelling their twin companies, Vijaydimon (Belgium) and B Vijaykumar (India) , into a global position with nearly $1 Billion a year in sales.

Vijaydimon is a DTC sightholder with offices in Belgium, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, and the United States. Vijaydimon also purchases rough diamonds from Canada’s Diavik Mine and Argyle (Rio Tinto) and Russia [21]. The company has cutting factories in Antwerp, Bangkok, Bombay, Palanpur, Surat, and Tel Aviv, employing 22,000 workers.

Diamonds and the African Nationals

Joseph Kabila, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, & José Eduardo dos Santos

Photos:  Kabila, Kabbah, dos Santos, Mandela, & Mogae

Starting with Botswana’s independence in 1966, and the end to South African apartheid in 1994, many of the ex-colonial nations of Sub-Saharan Africa are starting to emerge as powerful and legitimate forces in the diamond industry.

At the age of 29, Joseph Kabila (above, left), succeeded his father (Laurent-Désiré Kabila) as president the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC) after his assassination in January 2001. After winning a disicive re-election victory in 2006, Kabila, who was a major general in the army, is receiving broad support from the South Africa, Angola and from mining magnates, all who have signed multi-million dollar trade deals.

The president of Sierra Leone, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, is making great strides in stabilizing the country after years of strife. In a post-conflict reconstruction effort, the ‘United Nations Industrial Development Orginization’ (UNIDO), working in cooperation with the government of Sierra Leone, created a program for capacity-building of ‘small and medium-sized enterprise’ (SME) development.

After years of fighting between the PMLA and UNITA, the political situation in Angola has begun to normalize. On a somewhat darker note, president José Eduardo dos Santos is preventing democratic elections from taking place, only hinting at their possibility in 2007 or 2008. The last democratic election in Angola was in 1992.

Botswana is a relatively wealthy African country, with one of the fastest per-capita income growth rates in the world. Botswana has held regular elections and has been one of the more stable governments in southern Africa. President Festus Mogae was elected for a second term in 2004, and enjoys broad support, both domestically and internationally.

Diamonds and the Americans

N.W. Ayer

Photo: N.W. Ayer & Son

“A diamond is forever” is the legendary saying that was created by America’s first advertising agency, N.W. Ayer & Son. The Great Depression had taken a heavy toll on luxury goods during the 1930s, and the diamond industry was particularly hard hit. De Beers president, Harry Frederick Oppenheimer enlisted the help of N.W. Ayer in 1938, and a series of diamond-related slogans were introduced into the American lexicon. In 1948 the famous “A diamond is forever” slogan was introduced.

Charles Lewis Tiffany
Photo: Charles Lewis Tiffany

Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812—1902), aka “the King of Diamonds,” was the co-founder of Tiffany & Co. which started out as ‘Tiffany & Young’ of New York City in 1837. Tiffany & Young, located at 259 Broadway, was originally a ‘fancy goods’ emporium, specializing in one-of-a-kind baubles for New York’s newly-minted industrialists and ‘robber-barons.’

During the 1800s, Charles Tiffany, who was known for his jewelry expertise, purchased diamonds, gems and jewelry from the estates of the European aristocracy, for resale in America. After the French revolution in 1799, the public’s tolerance towards nobility was at a low point. With financial shockwaves caused by the French economy’s collapse in 1847, and the subsequent overthrowing of King Louis-Philippe of France in 1848, the values of ostentatious gems and jewelry dropped precipitously, and Tiffany seized on the opportunity. Tiffany was able to purchase significant gems from such renowned estates as: the ‘jewel-mad’ Duke of Brunswick, Prince Esterhazy of Hungary, and from the Spanish Crown Jewels [27].

One of Tiffany’s most notable diamond acquisitions was a 287.42 carat rough flawless-yellow diamond from the ‘Compagnie Français de Diamant du Cap’ (Kimberley mine) in 1877. The stone was cut in Paris, producing the 128.54 carat ‘The Tiffany Diamond.’ The stone was set into a garish jewelry piece called “Bird on a Rock,” by Jean Schlumberger in the 1960s. A 19.72 carat cushion-cut diamond (one of the “Diamonds of Golconda“) was mounted by Tiffany, and sold to Nanaline Duke (now in the Doris Duke Collection).

The ‘Tiffany & Co.’ brand was catapulted into the stratosphere by the 1961 movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ staring Audrey Hepburn, and featuring the memorable scene in which Holly gazes longingly into Tiffany’s window display. The Tiffany is still selling luxury jewelry in their trademarked ‘Tiffany Blue Box,’ at the flagship store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.

Jule Styne

Photo: Pub. Domain

Hollywood in 1949

Coming just on the heels of the immortal “a diamond is forever” campaign, De Beers and the diamond industry got another shot in the arm; this time from playwriter, Jule Styne. Jule Styne (born Julius Kerwin Stein) was born in London, the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine. After attending Chicago Musical College, Styne moved to Hollywood where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. Styne wrote the score for the 1949 Broadway musical ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,’ which was adapted to film in 1953. The movie version featured Marilyn Monroe’s famous rendition of the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” after here charecter, Lorelei receives a diamond tiara from her suitor, Sir Francis “Piggy” Beekman.

Photo: © Warner Bros. 2006

Hollywood in 2006

Blood Diamond is the latest incarnation of Hollywood’s fascination with diamond. This time, the glamor is laid bare, as writer Charles Leavitt takes us through the dark underbelly of the diamond trade. Through interviews with human-rights organizations like Doctors Without Borders and Global Witness, Leavitt weaves a tale of Sierra Leone’s impoverished “diamond diggers,” and the terrible working conditions that these workers must endure.

In a preemptive strike against any negative publicity that the movie would generate, the World Diamond Council placed ten full-page ads in newspapers around the county.


The Consumer

Last, but not least, we have the faceless American and world consumer, the unsung hero in the diamond trade. Were it not for intrepid consumers, and their willingness to purchase the concept of “foreverness,” there would be no “diamond trade.”

Bibliography on Diamond Trade Key Players

1. De Beers, Market for Diamonds . http://www.debeersgroup.com

2. Stefan Kanfer, The Last Empire: De Beers, Diamonds, and the World . Farrar, Straus, Giroux

3. National Geographic, Diamonds: The Real Story

4. Ingrid J. Tamm, Diamonds in Peace and War . World Peace Foundation

5. Janine Roberts, Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel . The Disinformation Co.

6. Edward Jay Epstein, The Diamond Invention . http://www.edwardjayepstein.com

7. The Economist, The Cartel isn’t Forever . http://www.economist.com

8. Professional Jeweler Archive, Lev Leviev’s Angolan Connection . http://www.professionaljeweler.com

9. ALROSA Co. Ltd., Diamond Exploration . eng.alrosa.ru

10. Anglo American Corp, Anglo American – Global Leader in Mining . eng.alrosa.ru

11. Judy Dempsey, Upstart Dealer Muscles Into Market . specials.ft.com

12. IADC, Indo Argyle Diamond Council . http://www.indoargyle.com

13. Gem & Jewellery Export Council, Advantage India – A Touch of Class . http://www.iijs.org

14. Dan Bilefsky, Newcomers Jump-Start A Deep-Rooted Industry . http://www.startupjournal.com

15. Chidanand Rajghatta, Indian diamantaires shining in Antwerp . timesofindia.indiatimes.com

16. D. Navinchandra & Co., D. Navinchandra of India . http://www.dnavin.com

17. Overseas India, Belgium honours Indian Businessman . http://www.overseasindian.in

18. RosyBlue, RosyBlue Leadership’s Dilip Mehta . http://www.rosyblue.com

19. Rediff, The Jains of Palanpur – Bharat & Vijay Shah. http://www.rediff.com

20. North Gujarat University, The Gujarat Diaspora . http://www.ngu.ac.in

21. Vijaydiamond, Vijaydiamond Corporate Profile . http://www.vijaydiamond.com

22. BDB, Bharat Diamond Bourse . http://www.bdbindia.org

23. Dinokeng Guide, A Short History of Cullinan . http://www.dinokengtouristguide.co.za

24. Ronald Hyam, Peter Henshaw, Britan and South Africa Since the Boer War . assets.cambridge.org

25. Porges Family, Grand Dukes and Diamonds . http://www.porges.net

26. F. Avrohom, The Pshevorsker Rebbe, Reb Yaakov Leizer zt”l . chareidi.shemayisrael.com

27. Christies, The Doris Duke Collection . http://www.christies.com

28. Forbes, King of Bling – Laurence Graff . http://www.forbes.com/

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