...Rise...Fall...Diamonds [Jordan Stubbs]

...Rise...Fall...Diamonds [Jordan Stubbs]

JORDAN STUBBS

I’m about halfway through The Rise and Fall of Diamonds by Edward Jay Epstein, originally published in the 1980s.  It plots what Epstein calls “The Diamond Invention,” the multi-faceted and nefarious process for monopolization of all aspects of diamond production, distribution, restriction, and lust.  The book begins with the discovery of the first diamond mines in Africa in the late 19th century; and it traces a web across time and the globe from the South African HQ of the De Beers Corporation, to the diamond cutting and distribution centers in Europe, and the fierce advertising campaign launched in America and abroad to establish the “tradition” of diamond engagement rings.  Not one to peek ahead in a book, I can only imagine where else this web shall stretch!

 

 “Diamonds have little intrinsic value, and their price depended almost entirely on their scarcity.”   //The discovery of diamonds interrupted the natural scarcity, a scarcity which was later artificially maintained to uphold the  monopolistic power of the De Beers Corporation.

“A carat is a very minute measure.  It is based on the remarkably uniform weight of the ancient carob seed, and weighs only 1/2000th of a pound.”

“Diamonds can be profitably mined in some of the most inaccessible locations in the world precisely because the operation does not require the construction of a vast transportation infrastructure to remove the final product.” //The logistical requirements for diamond mining are weighted much more to protection of the product at the mining site, not in the transportation of materials.  Millions of dollars worth of diamonds can be flown away on a small airplane, tucked inside of a briefcase.   

“As De Beers found that its own mines were producing more diamonds than it could market, its interest in this arrangement was not to stimulate further production, but to prevent these diamonds from finding their way into the market at an unfortuitous time.” //The quirks of capitalism run amuck in this saga!

 

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER
IS A LIE
THEY CAN BE CRUSHED
TO DUST


WHAT ABOUT YOUR RING
WHEN YOU BREAK UP


MAN HELD BACK THE OCEAN
BEHIND A WALL OF SAND
TO EXPOSE ITS DIAMOND-RICH BED
AND SNATCHED THE STONES
FOR YOUR FINGER
IT’S A MUST
AND PROFITABLE


DIAMONDS CUT DIAMONDS
DOWN TO SIZE


DIAMOND DUST FUELS THE WAR MACHINE


HOW LONG WAS THE DIAMOND A DIAMOND
BEFORE HUMANS WERE HUMANS


HOW DO I MAKE
MY OWN VALUE


WHEN YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE IN CHARGE
WHAT DOES THAT DO TO YOU


HOW MANY COUNTRIES FORMED
AROUND YOUR IMPERIALIST INTERESTS


DIAMONDS SURVIVED
WWII
BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE
DID NOT

 

A STONE
IN MY PALM
WORTH MORE
THAN I EVER WILL BE

 

BUSINESS AS GOVERNMENT
WE KNOW THAT WORKS
IF YOU’RE BUSINESS

 

WE SEE DIAMONDS
BECAUSE A MAN SAID

 

 

 

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