A Gem Of A New Strategy

After a 60-year effort to hoard every diamond on Earth, De Beers decides to open the market and clean up its act

For as long as diamonds have been forever, De Beers has been intent on controlling the world supply. Since the 1930s, the South African company's strategy has been as elegantly simple as the gemstones themselves: anywhere in the world that rough diamonds existed, De Beers would be there to mine them or buy them. At one point De Beers controlled 90% of the global diamond supply, sustaining an empire worth $20 billion. But over the past decade, that monopoly has eroded, thanks to the discovery of new diamond reserves and the emergence of upstart producers determined to peddle their goods outside...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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