Unformatted text preview: erican advertising men and still used today, sells two dreams in one: that diamo nds
bring eternal love and romance, and that diamonds never lose their value. Like magic, the dream has come true. Unlike
such other precious commodities as gold, whose price has yo-yoed over the years, the average price of diamonds has
maintained a relentless upward creep. Between 1986 and 1996, average prices of diamonds grew by 50%. Again like
magic, this took place despite the fact that over the same period more and more diamonds flowed onto the market. How?
The answer lies in the little brown boxes handed out in Charterhouse Street. Through such allocations, De Beers controls
the supply of about three-quarters of the world’s rough (uncut) diamonds via its marketing arm, the Central Selling
Organisation (CSO ). It mines half the world’s diamonds itself , in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. The rest it sucks
into its system through contracts made with other diamond producers, and by dispatching its buyers, whose clippe...
View Full Document