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Brilliant (no pun intended) read on the history of modern diamond production and marketing. This is a fascinating subject and the author writes about it in a detailed and informative way. The latter chapters of the book are especially interesting as they challenge the conventional belief that diamonds have real and lasting value as a commodity. Nothing could be further from the truth as this book reveals.
Really interesting read that will teach you much more than you expected about the diamond industry. It's a little heavy so you wouldn't read it in one sitting or anything, but definitely worth while. My only complaint is the ending is a bit misleading - it makes it sound like De Beers monopoly continues today, when now it is one of 4 big companies and the landscape is quite different. I wish they would add a section at the end giving the facts on what the industry looks like today.
This is a great book about the history of the diamond trade and the state that it was in back in the early late 70s and Early 80s. However, that was 30 years ago, and Epstein hasn't done a great job of keep up with the industry.
I bought this book on the strength of it's mention on the first TrueTV episode of Adams Ruins Everything, where had Epstein featured on it. And I don't regret the purchase at all. Epstein takes an in-depth look at several De Beers diamond mines, the distribution of the diamond in London, and the ways De Beers held onto it's diamond monopoly. It's great look at how controlling supply and demand from the top down is essential to maintaining high prices. It also takes a look at 20th Century ad campaigns that helped make the diamond industry what it is.
It's only problem is that the book was written in the early 80s and makes it sound like the diamond industry is still like this, and it's not. Rather, it shows the beginning of what the diamond industry is today. It talks about antitrust litigation by the DOJ, but the resolution (with De Beers settling the lawsuit) doesn't happen until years after the book with published. The book also discusses competition by the Soviets, completion that only increased in the years since publication.
And that's the thing, De Beers had a monopoly back when the book was published. It doesn't now. The diamond monopoly has been replaced with a cartel, and while the goals of a cartel are the same as a monopoly, the means are very different. For example, the idea of "blood diamonds" comes from the cartel trying to keep people from buying diamonds from native mining operations and channel all sales through the cartel. So, while the book is very informative, you won't come away from an accurate picture of what the diamond industry is like right now.
If you know of book that does discuss the diamond cartel of the 2010s, I'd love to hear of it.
My fiancee hates this book. It tells the story of the propaganda of the diamond industry and how there is no shortage of diamonds. The worst part? Your diamonds are worth nothing after purchase. Don't believe me? Do as the book suggests. Make a trip to a few jewelry stores under the pretense(Act Serious)of selling your diamonds and see how little,if any,money you are offered.
If you get any where near purchase price(85to90%)write a reply to this review and tell me where the jewelry store is.
P.S. Unless I state otherwise, all purchases arrived in 'as expected condition' and in a timely manner.
An eye-opening, yet disconcerting look into the world of manipulation by DeBeers of convincing the world t (mostly Americans) that this piece of carbon is a must have item to be acquired for outrageous prices as proof of love. How sad to feel so duped. I will never look at my diamonds in the same way.