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The Diamond Cartel
The name De Beers comes from two brothers who were African farmers, Diederik Arnoldus de Beers and Johannes Nicholas de Beers. After diamonds were discovered on their property they were unable to deal with the stress of protecting the farm from the flood of diamond seekers. They sold the land and the mines for 6300 pounds to investors Cecil Rhodes and Charles Rudd.
Two mines were actually found on their property located in the Kimberly region. One mine was named after the de Beer brothers and the other was named after the Kimberly area. In 1870 Rhodes and Rudd merged the two enterprises to form DeBeers Consolidated Mines Limited.
De Beers is an enormously successful and effective supervisory body of the diamond market. They developed a distinctive marketing cartel that has influenced prices in the market nearly undisturbed for close to a century. They control the export of about 90 percent of today's diamond trade. They buy a majority of the world's raw diamonds directly from the mines, then sell to select, authorized bulk purchasers of rough diamond distributors, known as sightholders. The price is fixed and non-negotiable. Even diamonds that are not marketed by DeBeers follow their pricing.
The Diamond Trading Company
Formed in 1934 and based in London, the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) is the sales and marketing arm of the De Beers Group. The DTC gets their uncut diamonds mainly from the De Beers mines in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Tanzania. It is the world's largest single source of rough diamonds.
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