A Gem That Lost Its Luster

The precious stone looks better in a ring than on a balance sheet

The official opening two weeks ago of the Jwaneng diamond mine in Botswana, near the southern tip of Africa, should have been an occasion for celebration. After all, Harry Oppenheimer, 73, the chairman of De Beers, the cartel that controls the production and sale of most of the world's diamonds, has called the site "the most important primary deposit found anywhere in the world since the discovery at Kimberley more than a century ago." The rich ore of the Jwaneng mine is expected to produce 3 million carats of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!