This time the decision is about which stones to give

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Unformatted text preview: lt into an international company and a global cartel. From the roof he descends to his hushed, wood-panelled offices, to preside over an operation of which the Soviets would have been proud. Every five weeks, his men meet in this building to sell to diamond brokers the precious stones that De Beers has gathered from the world’s diamond mines. Here the visitor finds no free-for-all scramble. This is an exquisitely controlled, polite operation. Each broker has already placed his orders for the stones on behalf of his clients, the cutters and polishers. The men from De Beers meet for an entire day to discuss who should get what. Not to discuss the price: this they have already fixed, based on their reading of the market "and on our intelligence". This time, the decision is about which stones to give out —big ones, small ones, clear ones, pink ones—and in what combination. The result is parcelled up secretly into little brown boxes, sealed with tape, and handed out to the broke rs when they fly...
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