de beers


  • [10] • Industry: Mining and trading of diamonds; Founded: 1888; 135 years ago; Founder: Cecil Rhodes; Headquarters: London , England, UK; Area served: Worldwide; Key people:
    Mark Cutifani (Chairman), Bruce Cleaver (CEO); Products: Diamonds; Services: Diamond mining and marketing; Revenue: US$6.08 billion (2018)[1] ; Owners: Anglo American plc (85%)[2]; Number of employees: c. 20,000 History Foundation[edit] Cecil
    Rhodes founded De Beers in 1888 Nathan Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild, of the Rothschild family, funded the development of De Beers Preference share of the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., issued 1 March 1902 The name ‘De Beers’ was derived
    from the two Dutch settlers, brothers Diederik Arnoldus de Beer (1825–1878) and Johannes Nicolaas de Beer (1830–1883), who owned a South African farm named Vooruitzicht (Dutch for “prospect” or “outlook”) near Zandfontein in the Boshof District
    of Orange Free State.

  • [42] In 2000, the De Beers business model changed[41] because of factors such as the decision by producers in Canada and Australia to distribute diamonds outside the De Beers
    channel,[16][40] as well as increasingly negative publicity surrounding blood diamonds, which forced De Beers to protect its image by limiting sales to its own mined products.

  • [3] Competition has since dismantled the complete monopoly; the De Beers Group now sells approximately 29.5% of the world’s rough diamond production by value through its global
    sightholder and auction sales businesses.

  • [45][third-party source needed] Seeing these developing trends, the Oppenheimer family announced in November 2011 its intention to sell its entire 40% stake in De Beers to
    Anglo American plc, thereby increasing Anglo American’s ownership of the company to 85% (with the remaining 15% owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana).

  • [93] In May 2018, De Beers’s group company Element Six launched a lab-grown diamond brand to sell jewelry directly to consumers.

  • The company pioneered the approach in 2008 when it broke with 44 years of direct sales to hold the diamond industry’s first online international auction sale.

  • [77][78] In 1999, De Beers Group stopped all outside buying of diamonds in order to guarantee the conflict-free status of their diamonds effective from 26 March 2000.

  • [107] European Commission[edit] In February 2006, De Beers entered into legally binding commitments with the European Commission to cease purchasing rough diamonds from Russian
    mining company Alrosa as of the end of 2008 in order to ensure competition between the two companies.

  • Forevermark[edit] Main article: Forevermark Forevermark was launched in 2008 as one of the two diamond brands from The De Beers Group of Companies.

  • [68] It is involved in many parts of the diamond value chain, from mining to sales, and is made up of a series of joint ventures and wholly owned operations.

  • By November 2002, negotiations between governments, the international diamond industry, led by De Beers, and civil society organisations resulted in the creation of the Kimberley
    Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which sets out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade and became effective in 2003.

  • In this way, his company could provide the US with the industrial diamonds it desperately sought for the war effort in return for immunity from prosecution after the war;
    however his proposal was rejected by the US Justice Department when it was discovered that De Beers had no intention of stockpiling any industrial diamonds in the US.

  • [108] South Africa’s rough diamond trade[edit] In 2014, the Leverhulme Centre for the Study of Value, based at the University of Manchester, published a report authored by
    Sarah Bracking and Khadija Sharife, identifying over US$3.3 billion in price fixing within the South African rough diamond trade from 2004 to 2012, leading to an estimated deficit in tax paid of ZAR 1 billion per year.

  • [37] Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, De Beers attempted to secretly enter the United States’ diamond market, being forced to divest its American assets in 1975 to avoid the
    risk of violating anti-trust laws.

  • In February 2020, De Beers reported its worst set of earnings since the company was bought by miner Anglo American in 2012.

  • Vooruitzicht would become the site of the Big Hole and the De Beers mine, two successful diamond mines.

  • [74] De Beers Ventures De Beers Ventures was established by De Beers Group in June 2017 to consider minority stake investments in start-ups and growth companies that could
    be of benefit to De Beers Group or the broader diamond sector.

  • [27] Instead, the mine started selling to a pair of independent dealers named Bernard and Ernest Oppenheimer, thereby weakening the De Beers stronghold.

  • [32] In May 1955, Ernest Oppenheimer opened the new headquarters which combined the operations of Anglo American and the De Beers group.

  • [85] In 2018, De Beers used blockchain technology to successfully track 100 high-value diamonds.

  • Also wholly owned are Forevermark, De Beers Jewellers,[72] the International Institute of Diamond Valuation, De Beers Ventures, the International Institute of Diamond Grading
    & Research and Element Six (Umicore has a 40% stake in Element Six’s abrasives division).

  • [91] In September 2017, De Beers partnered with UN Women to help the advancement of women within the company and the countries it operates in.

  • [39] 21st-century changes [edit] Russian president Vladimir Putin meeting former De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer in South Africa in 2006 During the 20th century, De Beers
    used several methods to leverage its dominant position to influence the international diamond market.

  • [17][18] De Beers Consolidated Mines was formed in 1888 by the merger of the companies of Barney Barnato and Cecil Rhodes, by which time the company was the sole owner of
    all diamond mining operations in the country.

  • [8][9] Former CIA chief Admiral Stansfield Turner claimed that De Beers restricted US access to industrial diamonds needed for the country’s war effort during World War II.

  • [citation needed] De Beers states that 100% of the diamonds it now sells are conflict-free and that all De Beers diamonds are purchased in compliance with national law, the
    Kimberley Process Certification Scheme[83] and its own Diamond Best Practice Principles.

  • [99] Industrial diamonds[edit] In 2004, De Beers pled guilty and paid a US$10 million fine to the United States Department of Justice to settle a 1994 charge that De Beers
    had colluded with General Electric to fix the price of industrial diamonds.

  • [67] Business structure and brands[edit] On 4 November 2011, Anglo American plc and CHL Holdings announced their agreement for Anglo American to acquire an incremental interest
    in De Beers, increasing Anglo American’s 45% shareholding in the world’s leading diamond company to 85%.

  • For offshore mining, motor vessels are used, including the sixth and latest, the N$2.3 billion SS Nujoma, the world’s most advanced diamond exploration and sampling vessel,
    which began full operations in June 2017.

  • [22] Rhodes was concerned about the break-up of the new monopoly, stating to shareholders in 1896 that the company’s “only risk is the sudden discovery of new mines, which
    human nature will work recklessly to the detriment of us all”.

  • [28][31][7] Oppenheimer was very concerned about the discovery of diamonds in 1908 in German South West Africa, fearing that the increased supply would swamp the market and
    force prices down.

  • [109] Sharife simultaneously published an article[110] disclosing the political system that cultivated revenue leakage, including the donation of De Beers staff to the State
    Diamond Trader (SDT).

  • In 2008, De Beers began production at the Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada;[60] this was the first De Beers mine outside Africa and was Canada’s first completely
    underground diamond mine.

  • During this time, he was involved in a number of controversies, including price fixing and trust behaviour, and was accused of not releasing industrial diamonds for the U.S.
    war effort during World War II.

  • The new brand began selling in September 2018 and are produced in Gresham, Oregon, a $94 million facility using the region’s cheap electricity, which opened in 2018 with the
    capacity for 500,000 rough carats of diamonds per year.

  • After they discovered diamonds on their land, the increasing demands of the British government forced them to sell their farm on 31 July 1871 to merchant Alfred Johnson Ebden
    (1820–1908) for £6,600.

  • [64] Trading of rough diamonds takes place through two channels – De Beers Global Sightholder Sales[65] (GSS) and De Beers Auction Sales.

  • From its inception in 1888 until the start of the 21st century, De Beers controlled 80% to 85% of rough diamond distribution and was considered a monopoly.

  • [8][9] In 2011, Anglo American took control of De Beers after buying the Oppenheimers’ family stake of 40% for US$5.1 billion (£3.2 billion) and increasing its stake to 85%,
    ending the 80-year Oppenheimer control of the company.

  • Their name, which was given to one of the mines, subsequently became associated with the company.

  • [66] GSS sells about 90% of De Beers’s rough diamonds, by value, and features wholly owned and joint venture operations in South Africa (De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa),
    Botswana (DTCB), and Namibia (NDTC).

  • [94] Former operations International Institute of Diamond Valuation The International Institute of Diamond Valuation (IIDV) was launched by De Beers Group in March 2016.

  • The report, like the article, utilised aggregated data produced by the Kimberley Process (KP) certificates of import-exports, relying on figures listed by the diamond companies
    themselves, in which De Beers was the dominant player.

  • [92] In 2018, the two entities launched a program to support 500 women micro-entrepreneurs in Blouberg and Musina communities, near De Beers’s Venetia diamond mine.

  • [46][47] Marketing[edit] See also: Diamonds as an investment De Beers successfully advertised diamonds to manipulate consumer demand.

  • [11] Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the British South Africa Company, got his start by renting water pumps to miners during the diamond rush that started in 1869,[12][13] when
    an 83.5 carat diamond called the ‘Star of South Africa’ was found at Hopetown near the Orange River in South Africa.

  • The South African Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) disclosed that De Beers did not authorise them to publish figures involving values, sales, pricing and other data,
    preventing transparency of the industry.

  • He understood the core principle that underpinned De Beers’s success, stating in 1910 that “common sense tells us that the only way to increase the value of diamonds is to
    make them scarce, that is to reduce production”.

  • [86] The diamonds were tracked through the manufacturing process from the mine to the retailer in order to ensure their quality and conflict-free status.

  • [7] He built and consolidated the company’s global monopoly over the diamond industry until his death in 1957.

  • [87] In 2019, they launched their own end-to-end traceability platform called Tracr to enable all diamonds to be identified and traced as they move from the mine to the store.


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