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Old 08-14-2003, 02:17 AM   #1
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An end to the diamond cartels?

"Unless they can be detected," he says, "these stones will bankrupt the industry."

This is the best news I have seen in a while.

My favorite:

"If people really love each other, then they give each other the real stone," he says, during an interview at council headquarters on the Hoveniersstraat in Antwerp. "It is not a symbol of eternal love if it is something that was created last week."


"If you give a woman a choice between a 2-carat stone and a 1-carat stone and everything else is the same, including the price, what's she gonna choose?" he demands. "Does she care if it's synthetic or not? Is anybody at a party going to walk up to her and ask, 'Is that synthetic?' There's no way in hell. So I'll bite your ass if she chooses the smaller one."

Like a symbol of eternal love is better if it is mined by near slaves and sold for ridiculously artificially inflated prices by an international cartel.

I am so pulling for this guy.

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Old 08-15-2003, 04:51 PM   #2
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Me too.

DeBeers is evil.

If you really need a "real" diamond to prove your eternal love, it's not really eternal is it? You can still lose the damn thing down the sink.

I'll take synthetic any day.

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Old 08-15-2003, 05:19 PM   #3
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If I had that kind of money, I'd definitely go for the synthetics. Hell, since I'm just a damn library clerk, I use aurora borealis beads for glitter. Why not synthetic diamonds? DeBeers sucks.
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:33 PM   #4
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Diamonds, in terms of rarity, are worthless. The entire industry exists, due to DeBeers' successful marketing and non-competitive cartels that they have carefully crafted over the past century.

You *can* tell whether or not the stone is real or synthetic by carefully analyzing it under jewelers' instruments; they give off different colors. However, in everyday usage, most people won't even notice.

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Old 08-16-2003, 02:45 AM   #5
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Actually, these diamonds are indistinguishable from real diamonds except when under scrutiny by some expensive analytical equipment. That's why DeBeers is scared.

The diamonds made by the CVD process are actually completely flawless, and that is the only way to tell them apart from naturals.

We've come a long way since the pneumatic press diamonds used mostly in drills and knives.
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Old 08-16-2003, 05:40 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Mongpoovian
Actually, these diamonds are indistinguishable from real diamonds except when under scrutiny by some expensive analytical equipment. That's why DeBeers is scared.

The diamonds made by the CVD process are actually completely flawless, and that is the only way to tell them apart from naturals.

We've come a long way since the pneumatic press diamonds used mostly in drills and knives.
But I assure you that serious diamond buyers will use this equipment. They will not settle for synthetics, no matter how "indistinguishable" they are. They do give off completely different colors when analyzed; I have seen comparison photos.

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Old 08-16-2003, 09:56 AM   #7
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I would love a nice bezel set 2 carat please.

But I'm not fussy
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Old 08-20-2003, 05:12 PM   #8
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I posted this in another thread a while ago:


these are excepts... but this chapter is very important for the current UN Security Council investigation into the diamond trade ..

It was not only in Zaire that the diamond cartel employed former spies and embedded itself in secrecy. Secrecy is endemic to the trade. ...

...De Beers had to conceal its exports of Namibian diamonds so they might not be forfeited. Justice Pieter Thirion of the Natal Supreme Court revealed how this was done. He found that Namibian diamonds were being secretly sold to a company called Diamond Sales Ltd that operated out of Bermuda but was owned by the Oppenheimers via Liberia. In the first half of 1983 this trade was worth US $717 million.

Thirion received minimal co-operation from De Beers in making his legal inquiries. Justice Thirion reported that that the evidence given by the resident CDM director in Namibia, Douglas Hoofe, was: 'not very interesting... an insult to even the lowliest form of intelligence.'...

... There is a multitude of ways to conceal the origin of diamonds. The freeport trick is probably the best. De Beers has 3 European operations at inland 'freeports' situated next to airports and serviced by their private airline. One is located at the Zurich airport's freeport in Switzerland, another at Shannon airport's freeport in Eire and the other is at the freeport on the Isle of Man. De Beers' planes can usually taxi directly from the runway into the De Beers' compound. De Beers thus can unload a cargo of diamonds, gold or any other commodity with minimal risk.

Diamonds can get new identity papers easiest at the Zurich freeport... But the Swiss government soon had less reason to feel nervous about its role as a haven for South African diamonds. The flow from southern Africa stopped as abruptly as it had started. Instead a new flood of diamonds came into Switzerland from Bermuda, a country with coconuts and no diamond mines. De Beers had done their accustomed alchemy. In 1991 Bermuda dispatched diamonds worth US$583 million to Switzerland

... This was even stranger when further the official records were further examined. English customs recorded only US$70 million worth of diamond exports to Switzerland in 1987. Clearly on the way to Switzerland De Beers waved the magic wand and multiplied them tenfold. Switzerland recorded over US$700 million worth of diamonds arriving from England. De Beers also wove a similar magic over Swiss exports. British customs that same year recorded three times more diamonds arriving from Switzerland than Switzerland recorded sending to Britian.

... There was still more powerful sorcery in other years. Swiss records said they exported in 1982 just $33 million dollars worth of diamonds to the United Kingdom but British records recorded over a billion dollars worth of diamonds arriving from Switzerland that same year. More diamond magic sparkled in 1991 when US$29 million worth of British diamond exports was transmuted into diamonds worth in Switzerland some US$652 million. As for the countries that thought they mined the majority of the world's diamonds, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zaire, Russia and Australia - most of their diamonds seemed to vanish before they reached the cartel's sorting tables in the UK and Switzerland. On the face of it, these countries have exported their diamonds into a vacuum.

....There was something familiar for me in these registered addresses. When I previously researched the international arms trade, I traced the movement of funds from Western intelligence agencies or from other, perhaps more dubious, institutions, to arms dealers and manufacturers. I found these funds were laundered through the same countries that quietly hosted the cartel companies. These countries were the registered addresses of a thousand extremely nasty operations. Some of these permitted the use of bearer shares - making it impossible to trace ownership or corporate responsibility further - a device allegedly used by President Mobutu among others..

...UNITA were allegedly selling most to De Beers buyers to help pay for its military operations. .. some went directly to buyers in Antwerp, some went out by helicopter to South Africa. ... found the diamond mines UNITA was attacking were secretly contracted to De Beers - so it seemed that whatever happened in Angola, De Beers would get its diamonds. A company called the British Mine Police protected the diamond mines with helicopter gunships.

... the De Beers connection was typically carefully concealed. The Angolan government gave its diamonds to 'Mining and Technical Services'- a company not ostensibly connected to the cartel, thus avoiding political embarrassment. However this was a cartel company hidden behind the usual smokescreen. It was incorporated in Liechtenstein but had its main office in London, adjacent to the De Beers offices. ...

In 1994 the De Beers Namibian subsidiary CDM was accused of illegally buying elephant tusks and rhino horn as well as of illegally buying diamonds. A diamond buyer, Thomas George Pearson said in a sworn statement: 'I was employed by CDM Pty Ltd in Namibia as a Diamond Buyer from June 30th to November 1992. (I was given) a detailed briefing by Roger Burchill, Head of CDM Security Department. My appointment was that of an undercover unlicensed diamond buyer' in Namibia and Angola. '...

'Roger Burchill was phoned at Oranjemund [a De Beers mine] whenever a transaction was to take place and he would fly to Windhoek for the duration of each of these. Roger stayed at the Safari hotel for the majority of the transactions, booking in under his alias of Gavin Maudsley...He would bring the necessary funds... On a few occasions smugglers brought in rhino horns and elephant tusks which I was instructed to buy on behalf of Roger Burchill and Chief Inspector Brink. ... On one occasion Roger Burchill gave me R250,000 in cash with the instruction to go into Angola to purchase diamonds from UNITA.'

Most smuggled diamonds that were not intercepted by De Beers in Africa would eventually arrive in Antwerp.. where De Beers had another secret diamond buying operation run through a company it controlled called ... This regularly received from the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), via a Swiss Bank the American dollars it needed for its secret cash transactions.

.... The diamond trade has a history of deception- and De Beers remains one of the most secretive major corporations in the world. It is in the nature of their game. They have to conceal that the commodity they trade as rare and precious can be mined at low cost. All must be done, and was, to eliminate any low-cost rough diamonds from the market. This was an essential part of their strategy.

During the 1990s in pursuit of this same policy, De Beers use these secret roads into Antwerp and into De Beers vaults to purchase perhaps over three billion dollars worth of smuggled diamonds. The funds paid for these stolen stones helped finance wars that would kill over half a million in Angola and more in Zaire and Sierra Leone - and sow many lands with land mines. But this story is for a later chapter.
De Beers and the Oppenheimers have preserved for many decades their control over the world's diamonds by insisting that only by selling diamonds through one outlet couldan prices be kept healthy and high. But the Oppenheimers once spun quite a different tale. They gained control over De Beers by doing precisely the opposite. Having been lectured by De Beers on the importance of selling all rough diamonds through one outlet, namely themselves, so supplies could be steadied and prices maintained, it was intriguing to discover that the Oppenheimer family who have controlled De Beers for generations built their diamond fortune by doing precisely the opposite. They won control over De Beers by savagely competing against it with diamonds from non-De Beers mines.

In the 1920s The Oppenheimer family knows how the vulnerability of De Beers can be exploited because Ernest Oppenheimer made De Beers into his family's fiefdom used De Beers weaknesses in the 1920s by twice setting to capture De Beers and make the diamond world his family's own fiefdom. Ernest's tactics included all the major heresies condemned nowdays by De Beers. He twice set up his own diamond syndicates with independent diamond supplies to compete against De Beers internationally. When Des. He competed against De Beers in the world's diamond markets. De Beers tried to defend itself from him, it used had fought against Ernest Oppenheimer with all the arguments about the benefits of a single outlet for diamonds that Ernest's son, Harry, used in the 1980s to persuade Australians not to do what his father did.

The Oppenheimers have continued until today to defend their centralised diamond economy with arguments against a free market Their stance did not damage their relations with even such advocates of free enterprise as the former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Her Office of Fair Trading was to rule that the Oppenheimer companies had no case to answer for monopolising the world market - because their operations mostly affected foreigners! Margaret Thatcher spent the 9th anniversary of her rise to power as Prime Minister celebrating with the Oppenheimers in their London office.

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