Diamond Debate


Jul 8, 2001
I was talking with some people the other day about diamonds, how they get them in Africa, and De Beers. I was wondering what other people knew/thought about this subject. Something that I found interesting is that the De Beers ad campaign was named the #1 ad campaign of last century for its effectiveness of influencing public opinion into thinking diamonds signify love and have to be used in wedding rings.

I don't want this to turn into a liberal vs. conservative bashing or U.S. foreign policy thread, but just want to learn more about this topic and also hear some of your opinions.


Dec 25, 2001
Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A.
In my opinion, De Beers business tactics are the perfect example of why many people think multinational corperations are dangerous. They've done an excellent job in cornering the diamond market but buying exclusive access to most of the diamond supplies in the world, and then limiting supply to drive the price up. Not even the free market of the U.S. would allow it, but its not being done on our soil, its being done around the world (especially Africa).

Some African nations have benefited... Botswana, for examlpe, used the money to build infrastructure and schools; the result is the only stable Democracy in the region. Zaire used it to buy AK-47's... the result hasn't been pretty.

De beers monolopy has decreased quite a bit over the last decade, but they still control enough of the market to have a virtual monopoly
If diamonds were actually a necessary resource I'd say something needed to be done.


Feb 13, 2002
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Greadius pretty much has it right from what I have heard. I think transposing De Beers to all multinational corporations is a bit of a stretch, but some people do have these fears.

I have heard that the supply is so great that Diamonds would be rather cheap if it were all released. High quality emeralds are what are really rare, because the mines aren't producing them anymore.
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