Why Do Diamonds Arent Forever?

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Diamonds Aren’t Forever Around the world, especially in the United States, it has become an accepted cultural norm that any marriage proposal must include a diamond. However, many people are oblivious to the history behind the exchange of rings and the diamonds they include. The desire for couples to represent their love for one another with a diamond ring unintentionally promotes corruption on many levels. Not only are these diamonds the product of a business with unethical and immoral beginnings, but also, their alleged significance is a fiction created by these diamond businesses. The history of the diamond industry is overflowing with immoral deals and exploitation. In addition to concern about the history, consumers should have trepidations…show more content…
Despite the cultural encouragement, consumers should consider the history and ethical practices of the diamond industry for both merchants and the public before deciding to support the industry. It is important to recognize that as society continues to promote the importance of diamonds, they are promoting an industry founded on unethical and violent beginnings. Historically, diamonds were considered rare; before the 1800s, Brazil and India were the main source of these gems (Shenigo). However, after the Eureka Diamond discovery in South Africa, it was soon realized that diamonds were abundantly available (Cleveland 39). Prospectors flocked to the area to stake claims, often forcing out land owners with little to no compensation. The most famous of these deals involved the De Beer’s farm, which they exchanged to Cecil Rhodes for a price equivalent to a mere six hundred fifty thousand dollars today (Cleveland 46; “Diamonds History and Lore”). Seth Rosen of the International Gem Society…show more content…
Historically, diamonds have always been perceived as rare; they only “became readily available” in the last century (Rosen). However, as diamond production rose from under one million carats in the 1870s to three million carats in the 1920s, the De Beers Diamond Company sought to perpetuate the illusion that diamonds were scarce (Shenigo; “Diamonds History and Lore”). By strategically aligning with other diamond companies, De Beers, now known as the “De Beers diamond cartel,” was able to fabricate a perceived scarcity of diamonds (Goldschein; Benson). The company “released only enough rough diamonds to satisfy the current demand” (Rosen). To maintain their monopoly, De Beers resorted to extreme measures. For example, Goldschein reports after the discovery of diamonds in Serbia in the 1950s, the company purchased all diamonds produced from the mines. Additionally, as a method of controlling diamond production in Botswana, De Beers gave the government a fifteen percent stake in the company. When producers like Zaire and Israel revolted, De Beers suppressed their efforts by “releasing stockpiles of diamonds similar to that country’s product, driving down demand” (Goldschein). Even today, the De Beers company has managed to maintain an impressive hold over the diamond supply by making deals with

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