Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Clean Diamonds & De Beers: Myths and Realities

Dear Juliet, Dan and All Readers,

With all due respect, Juliet, you said "I won’t go into what I
personally feel about De Beers because that’s a whole other issue"
and I would like to know what you and others base your personal
feelings on.

Now, please let me make one thing very clear, I am not opening a
thread for everyone to flood Hunaman with postings filled with
negative opinions. That is destructive, not constructive! Orchidians
seem more than wise enough to appreciate that!

I am asking for the facts any opinions are based on, please, and
where these facts were obtained - such as personal interaction with
De Beers, a book or article you read, something you saw on
television, etc. I’m curious how opinions of De Beers form since
there never seems to be a shortage of them.

Dan, how do you KNOW the book you read told the TRUTH about De Beers
history, as you claimed? Is it not the case that people write
biographies, documentaries and all sorts of supposed TRUE STORIES
that are exaggerated, embellished and even flat outright anything but
the truth? Don’t people generally have motives for writing books such
as getting it published, earning a living, revenge against
ex-employers or ex-spouses or ex-anything, or occasionally,

Let’s not forget all the wonderful press jewelers get! How often do
we see a POSITIVE story? Are we all nothing but
shady-emerald-fillers, stone-switchers, 300%-margin-makers,
incompetent-stone-identifiers, quality-overstaters…catch my drift?!
Of course not! But guess what, there’s plenty of people who won’t
enter a jewelry store without their guards up a mile high - and
plenty more who won’t walk in the door at all - because they read
such things and believe they apply FAR more often than they do!!!

So what if De Beers wants to get into the US! What are you, or anyone
else, afraid of?! Surely we’re all smart enough to realize they’re
not going to harm the market - the Oppenheimers have PROTECTED the
market for 70 years. And unless you do not sell diamonds, period,
have they not brought consumers into your shop, year after year, to
the tune of $170 MILLION in advertising campaigns which you were
never requested or required to invest a nickel in?

Nor have you been asked to assist in the academic researching,
technological developments, lab experimentations or related efforts
that keep us all in business. Are you aware of the work they
undertake so we can identify the exponentially growing list of
treatments and synthetics confidently? Can you imagine the costs to
operate these things? Or what it would cost us if they didn’t do
these things?

Did you know that Ekati diamonds are being sold directly to consumers
online already? And they’re not giving them away, if you catch my
drift there too. I think most retailers wouldn’t object after seeing
their prices. They certainly aren’t causing the downfall of other

Why shouldn’t a mining company move into retail? Should you be
restricted to JUST retail?

Why would sightholders WANT to fight De Beers? Wouldn’t De Beers only
shoot themselves in the foot by hurting their sightholders?

I’m not familiar with Mr. Harry Oppenheimer’s tax records but I am
familiar with the outstanding asset he was to South Africa and can
direct you to sources to read the hows & whys for yourself. (He was
not pro-aparthied, by the way, and sources confirming that are also
available for those interested.)

I’d be happy to provide more detail and/or reference sources to any
respectful request, on or off of these threads. I do not work for De
Beers (but I would), I do, however, do my homework and don’t mind
passing fact findings along.

Sadly, I think the real problem in our industry is that we’re so used
to cutting each others’ throats that we don’t see how we’re hurting
ourselves at the same time. I actually read this just two days ago,
“To the average male who may be out shopping for an engagement ring,
the real danger is in buying from a shop or chain at the retail
level…” Is it the truth? No, it’s nonsense, obviously. Who wrote
it? A jeweler. Why? To cut the throats of traditional retailers
competing (and likely succeeding) with his e-commerce business. The
result? He’s undermined confidence in our trade by creating doubt.
But he’s also undermined his own credibility and created doubt, in at
least my mind, that he comprehends this!

If we weren’t so busy knocking each other, we might see the value of
De Beers strategy - supporting each other for a greater collective
benefit. And that doesn’t mean giving up the right to make a profit!

Perhaps we will all learn something through a mature, rational
discussion of issues.

Jeanette K

Aparently you missed the 60 Minunte’s Show relating to De Beer’s and
the diamond trade. It covered why DeBeer’s id keeping a ver tight
rein on the diamond Market, it’s good business. Diamonds are not so
rare as we’ve been taught to believe. Rubys Emeralds, and Sapphires
amoung many other stones are much rarer thes days. DeBeers has
invested heavely in diamonds and because os the stone natural beauty
and very clever marketing, they have made it “THE LOVE” stone. We
should all be so smart. they did not deny the bought frem the African
terrorist at one time, butdeny they do any longer, and without proof
, I choose to believe them. Diamonds are found almot any country in
the world, and tere’s the rub, the high price of trying to mine
diamounds in any great quanity is cost prohibed. Let’s face it
DeBeer’s got there first and I doubt that if it had been mine or your
family that had been first that we would have acted in any other way.
We would like to think we would, but human nature such as it is, money
means power, and its all comes down to greed,which is
shared by most of mankind. Lady Gem

dear jeanette,

in response to your inquiry about opinions of debeers, i am
suspicious of them because they make such an effort to control as much
of the market as possible.

an incurable capitalist, i don’t understand why it is such a big deal
for a mine to be independant i.e., argyle had to fight to not be
bought by debeers (at least, last i checked in on the story that was
the case).

to me they seem greedy. and unwilling to share the market.

however, after all that opining, i can’t exactly afford diamonds
anyway so it’s a moot point. :wink:

i do agree with you on the cut-throat thing. i think if folks
concentrated on their product instead of trying to control the market
they would do better.

if i’ve offended anyone, i apologize. this is however, my humble
humble opinion.


I would like to change a statement I made erroneously on this
discussion. The figure currently being used about how many diamonds
are conflict diamonds is actually 4%, not 2%. I apologize for my
faulty memory on this. Incidentally, since the 60 Minutes story has
just aired you should be prepared to field lots of questions from
customers regarding this issue.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140