The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'de beers'
1. You've Been Psychologically Conditioned To Want a Diamond
3. Diamonds Have No Resale or Investment Value
4. Diamond Miners are Disproportionately Exposed to HIV/AIDS
7. Slave Laborers Cut and Polish Diamonds
9. Diamond Wars are Fought Using Child Warriors
Next time you buy the mandatory diamond ring for your beloved, spare a thought for the child soldiers who valiantly fought to get it for you, or the civilians in Sierra Leone whose limbs they hacked off:
Over the course of the decade-long war, the rebels have mutilated some 20,000 people, hacking off their arms, legs, lips, and ears with machetes and axes. This campaign was the RUF's grotesquely ironic response to Sierra Leone President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's 1996 plea for citizens to "join hands for peace." Another 50,000 to 75,000 have been killed. The RUF's goal was to terrorize the population and enjoy uncontested dominion over the diamond fields.
The Powers That Be assure us they're reforming the process to ensure eliminate the perception of such inequity; however, without much success.
Unfortunately, neither action is halting the lucrative trade: "Efforts to end the trade in conflict diamonds ran into a major obstacle in the Bush administration, which has been reluctant to impede business in any way or have its hands tied by any international agreements, even when the U.S. diamond industry has called for it," says Akwei.
(Does that mean that Halliburton, the Carlyle Group or some other band of highly-connected kleptocrats have a stake in the diamond trade, or are the Bush administration just being recalcitrant out of principle?) (via Adbusting)
Science has discovered techniques for manufacturing high-quality diamonds, potentially indistinguishable from mined gems. De Beers are, as you can imagine, running scared. However, this disruptive technology promises to do more than wiping out the diamond industry as we know it; for example, cheap, manufactured diamond would be an ideal substrate for ever-faster microprocessors, being able to withstand extremes of temperature better than silicon can. (via Slashdot)
An interesting article from 1982 about how the multinational diamond-trading monopoly De Beers manufactured the public desire for diamonds, singlehandedly creating the association between diamonds and romance, and manipulating human courtship rituals to move the right sizes of stones, and create an illusion of security which doesn't actually exist:
DeBeers devised the "eternity ring," made up of as many as twenty-five tiny Soviet diamonds, which could be sold to an entirely new market of older married women. The advertising campaign was based on the theme of recaptured love. Again, sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.
The moment a significant portion of the public begins selling diamonds from this inventory, the price of diamonds cannot be sustained. For the diamond invention to survive, the public must be inhibited from ever parting with its diamonds. In developing a strategy for De Beers in 1953, N. W. Ayer said: "In our opinion old diamonds are in 'safe hands' only when widely dispersed and held by individuals as cherished possessions valued far above their market price." As far as De Beers and N. W. Ayer were concerned, "safe hands" belonged to those women psychologically conditioned never to sell their diamonds.
(via The Fix)