Sean (darksoul) wrote,

yesterday evening, on my drive home from class, they had an interesting piece on NPR about the rise of De Beers and the diamond industry. the report went into detail about how the De Beers company built the image of the diamond in the late 19th/early 20th century, creating an empire that has made them one of the richest companies ever. Not only did their rigorous ad campaigns create the idea that "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" and that "Diamonds are forever", but they caused the world to consider this worthless comodity (outside of it's industrial uses in complex drilling procedures) to be one of the most highly treasured items in the world. i remember studying the De Beers legacy briefly in economics in high school, but i never realized exactly how manipulative they had been. did you know that they are the only company to have ever commissioned an advertisement from Picasso? that they funded many hollywood films in exchange for the placement of diamonds into the films in an early attempt at "product placement"? have a treasured movie from the age of film noir that mentioned diamonds at some point? it was probably funded by De Beers. people worry constantly about Microsoft and it's possible monopoly over the computer industry, yet they don't mind being victims of the De Beers company when they purchase a diamond ring for a loved one? tsk tsk tsk...

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