Blood Diamonds

3412 Words Nov 10th, 2008 14 Pages
Blood Diamonds: The Conflict in Sierra Leone

History of Diamonds:

The name "diamond" comes from the Greek word, "adamas" meaning unconquerable. Fittingly diamonds are made of pure carbon, and diamonds are the hardest natural substance known to man.[1][1] Diamonds have long been a sign of wealth and fortune. Kings and queens have worn these forms of concentrated carbon and even more countless millions people over time have lusted after them. These gems can be transparent, truculent white, yellow, green, blue, or brown. To understand the value of these stones, and ultimately their role in war, it helps to first understand their origins and where they come form. Diamonds are the most frequently used form capital by the rebels in
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Following the discovery of diamonds in Africa the production of diamonds increased tenfold in the next tens years. Diamond Trade and De Beers: Today, over two thirds of the world’s diamonds come from one company, De Beers. The London based company was one the first companies involved in the mining for diamonds in Africa immediately following their discovery. Cecil Rhodes was attracted to the new prospects of mining in African and he started his search for diamonds in 1870. Another English immigrant miner named Barney Barnato, Rhodes’ rival, also fought to control the same diamond claims as Rhodes. By 1880, Rhodes had bought out Barnato and had founded De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. Rhodes envisioned controlling the whole diamond market. By 1888, he had realized his vision and he had gained monopolistic control over the whole diamond market. He completed his monopoly with the formation of cartel, the London Diamond Syndicate, who were that biggest diamond merchants of the time. His syndicate allowed him to perfectly match supply with demand. They provided him with critical information about the diamond market allowing him to create an artificially controlled supply of diamonds. In return for their assistance, the diamond merchants were guaranteed a certain amount of diamonds from Rhode’s mines. In 1929, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer was elected as the chairman of the board of De Beers. Oppenheimer followed the model of his predecessor by using the single channel

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