Should Diamonds Cost so Much?

1143 Words5 Pages
Diamonds have long been considered some of the most prized and sought after possessions. They have been perceived as indicators of wealth and romance. The diamond market however; has been one of the most controversial and controlled markets in history run by a cartel “…an association of suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition” (Oxford English dictionary) formed to prevent the market from becoming flooded with diamonds from too many suppliers, resulting in a price drop.

This essay will argue for the statement that the price of diamonds is too high. It will analyse the diamond market as well as De Beers control over the diamond market and explain how the diamond cartel managed to gain almost complete control over all operations. Finally it will comment on weather a diamond ring is a suitable engagement ring.
In the nineteen hundreds diamonds were never that popular a gem. They were mainly found in riverbeds in India and Brazil and were reserved for royalty. In 1870, diamonds were discovered in South Africa which gave rise to the diamond rush and the subsequent South African diamond market. (Tobias Kretschmer,1998: 1)
Cecil John Rhodes, an English businessman, rented out steam-powered water pumps to the miners during the diamond rush. He installed water pumps in other mines in the area and started reinvesting his earnings into purchasing claims.
In 1880, Rhodes and Barney Barnato (a fellow entrepreneur) merged their companies to form De Beers Consolidated Mines to try and avoid out-producing each other and flooding the market. (“The heritage of…”,n.d)

Rhodes recognized that there was a problem with the supply of diamonds – the miners wanted to sell every diamond they could in...

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