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DeBeers, Africa, and the Diamond Trade ...


TRIBE Member
Sierra Leone and the Diamond Trade

“Diamonds are Forever” - DeBeers says. Unfortunately, Oppenheimer and
his cronies don’t feel the same way about human lives. In times past,
diamonds were
a rare commodity, but in 1870, huge diamond mines were discovered and
exploited in South Africa and the worth of diamonds decreased
dramatically. British
financiers realized that the value of these stones depended solely on
their scarcity and image. Financiers feared, and rightly so, that
diamonds would
soon be ranked semi-precious. For this reason, major diamond companies
decided to merge into a single entity, and in 1888, DeBeers
Consolidated Mines,
Ltd was created, and soon came to own 60% of the world’s diamond mines.
One may ask oneself why this is relevant, and how this came to be?
DeBeers is run by a group of greedy, evil, capitalist scum.

In order to inflate the prices of diamonds (which were now becoming
less and less scarce as more mines were being discovered), the DeBeers
purchased 80% of diamonds for sale on the open market. This way, they
could not only control the so-called “scarcity” of diamonds, but also
inflate the
prices of diamonds. DeBeers also has more than $4 billion in diamonds
stockpiled in their offices.

Now, let us look at a mineral map of Africa to see where diamonds are
found outside of South Africa - northern Angola, Southwestern Congo, and
Leone - all areas of conflict. Angola is probably the largest exporter,
with 11 percent of the world’s diamond reserves. Sierra Leone and
Liberia report
roughly the same amount of exports, but most exports out of Liberia are
smuggled out of neighbouring Sierra Leone. However, DeBeers
Consolidated Mines
Inc., headquartered in South Africa, maintains monopoly over all
diamond sales and encourages governments to see that all their country’s
diamonds are
distributed through DeBeers. DeBeers has been rumoured in the past to
have purchased diamonds from illegal mines in Sierra Leone, funding the
(Revolutionary United Front), the terrorists responsible for the blood
and carnage which continues to be seen in Africa. However, while some
disagree, DeBeers insists that it is impossible to tell where uncut
diamonds originate, but at the same time insists that they do not buy any
originating from areas of conflict. How can both of these statements be

DeBeers says that it has closed its offices in controversial areas of
Angola, Sierra Leone, and Congo. However, they must begetting diamonds
from illegal
sources. This is how it works: the Ivory Coast diamond industry shut
down in the 1980s, but Belgium recorded receiving 1.5 million carrats of
imported from the Ivory Coast in the 1990s. These diamonds were most
likely smuggled from Angola and Sierra Leone. Countries have also
reported more
imports from Liberia and Sierra Leone than these two countries have
reported exporting. Yet, with all these extra diamonds, the prices have
still not
tumbled. Thank you, Oppenheimer. This is blatant funding of terrorist
violence in these countries. Not only that, but RUF leader Foday Sankoh
was also
appointed minister in charge of mineral resources. It seems as though
our buddies at DeBeers have had a little talk with some African
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
(cont'd) ...

Now, you are probably wondering what is wrong with these people (ALOT!) and what you can do to help. Because Americans purchase approximately 65% of the world's diamonds, Americans can help make a difference. Avoid purchasing diamonds, cubic zirconia is the way to go. Also, push your local congressmen/senators/representatives to put pressure on international diamond trade.


TRIBE Member
It's like the monkeys working in the diamond mine on The Simpsons last night.

I can't think of anything without relating it to pop culture anymore.

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Unless you're buying a diamond that was mined in Canada, or another first-world nation, chances are it's just another blood diamond. And it's hard to find out exactly where diamonds come from, so chances are that most of the time that diamonds are purchased, it's a blood diamonds.

I was reading somewhere that in places like Sierra Leone and Congo (don't remember the exact country), diamond mine employees are X-rayed every day to keep them from stealing diamonds. I can't even imagine what the cancer rate is for those guys...

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TRIBE Member
In a course of strategic management, we did a case study on DeBeers and analyzed the diamond-water paradox that most first year eco students talk about [we need water more than any other thing, yet it is so abundant that it's free, whereas we don't need diamonds, yet they are scarce and great marketing strategies have essentially forced many men ,who have the means to buy extravagant diamond rings]

I think it's bs we are expected to spend 5 figures on something that you wear on your finger. When I meet that special someone who will be Mrs. Wunderbar I hope she's the type that isn't so materialistic that she would get all crazy about not having a diamond ring!


TRIBE Member
go do some more coke, motherfucker!
oh yeah they treat those people really bad too!

you know i want to be a writer - just let me bask in the glory of my own journalism .....


TRIBE Member
on an un-related note:

my parents smuggled a diamond (in the rough, admittidly) out of Angola a little over 26 years ago ;)

<---- D I A M O N D

I'm not sure how many carats I am

This is the first (and only) time I will ever refer to myself as a jewel

It's a shame that the few times I ever hear/read about the country of my birth, it's always negative.
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TRIBE Member
Originally posted by daddyiwantchocolate

Funny that you posted this, I just got back from purchaing a pair of diamond earrings.

Just out of curiosity...as a diamond consumer, what do you think about the issue(s) raised in the article?
Originally posted by Hal-9000

Just out of curiosity...as a diamond consumer, what do you think about the issue(s) raised in the article?

Well that particular article oversimplifies some of the issues at hand and isn't very clear about pointing out that there are many diamond sources from areas which are not funding rebel movements.

Plus I have friends who are DeBeers so I've heard much of the other side which isn't detailed in that blurb.

So, I think there are serious issues involved, but obviously it doesn't concern me (or the other millions of people out there) enough to stop purchasing diamonds completely. As I said, I've heard other details and arguments which aren't mentioned above which have influenced my decisions.


TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hal-9000

Just out of curiosity...as a diamond consumer, what do you think about the issue(s) raised in the article?

As an oil consumer, what do you think about the attrocious issues involved in oil supremicy? ;)


TRIBE Member
oh -- wait a sec Caroline. I don't dislike diamonds, in fact I love diamonds. 80% of the world's diamonds are put to scientific and industrial application, and theyre cool to look at, arent they? I just don't wear diamonds (or gold) -- I see no need for it. I wouldnt however fault anyone else for wanting them.
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TRIBE Member
DIWC: Thanks for the response. As I said, just curious. Had the same kind or talk with friends who are getting married and just purchased rings.

Silver1: two very different things. Try hard and you'll see the difference.


TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Hal-9000

Silver1: two very different things. Try hard and you'll see the difference.

Just a little quip. I obviously see the point but try arguing with a leftie that oil is a necessity and they'll tear you a new arse ;)
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TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Cheeka


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