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bcmacdonald

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John Pollard describes how DeBeers isn't just selling LG Diamonds. They're reinventing the sector!

2021-10-wham-the-other-shoe-drops-debeers-1024x573.jpg


John Pollard published a new blog post.

Oh, DeBeers.


...One month ago I covered the positive actions you're taking in the natural diamond sector - from...

Continue reading the Original Blog Post.
 

DejaWiz

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When did DeBeers realize gem-quality lab-grown diamonds would be “a thing?”
Probably decades ago when they figured "why continue to search and dig when we can just make diamonds whenever we want?"

When did they first conceive of Forevermark and Lightbox?
Per the article: FM - 2008, LB - 2018

When did they decide to move LGD production to Oregon?
2020

Was all of this spontaneous or planned decades in advance?
I think it was definitely planned.

Why did the Oppenheimer Family sell the company? Were they sleepy?
Maybe they had to much heat on them and decided to bail before being held accountable for many transgressions?

Did they want to escape before the lab-grown diamond insanity started?
I don't think so...they lost their iron grip on the diamond industry and likely felt that there was some writing on the wall that would cause consumers to steer away from DeBeers' products due to associated stigma.

Why does the name Oppenheimer make me hungry for a beefy kind of stew?
Don't forget to have some wine from the Rhine valley where Oppenheim is situated!
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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When did DeBeers realize gem-quality lab-grown diamonds would be “a thing?”
Probably decades ago when they figured "why continue to search and dig when we can just make diamonds whenever we want?"
They still dig about a third of the worlds diamonds by value.
When did they first conceive of Forevermark and Lightbox?
Per the article: FM - 2008, LB - 2018
When did they decide to move LGD production to Oregon?
2020
Was all of this spontaneous or planned decades in advance?
I think it was definitely planned.
My guess is they planned all this after the O's left
Why did the Oppenheimer Family sell the company? Were they sleepy?
Maybe they had to much heat on them and decided to bail before being held accountable for many transgressions?
Did they want to escape before the lab-grown diamond insanity started?
I don't think so...they lost their iron grip on the diamond industry and likely felt that there was some writing on the wall that would cause consumers to steer away from DeBeers' products due to associated stigma.
Why does the name Oppenheimer make me hungry for a beefy kind of stew?
Don't forget to have some wine from the Rhine valley where Oppenheim is situated!
I am not aware of any Oppenheimer transgressions DW? Care to name some?
I know they played hard ball business, but not sure that was ever any where near the ethical issues of the social media and big tech companies. Not to mention food delivery companies that started out with small commissions and ramped up to around 1/3rd of the cost you pay (I refuse to use them because too many of them get killed and maimed on the road at night).
What Stigma?
In USA the anti trust case involved GE and De Beers for price fixing industrial diamond prices. GE got away with a wrist slap.
The O family lived (might still do so) in some of the best wine country in the world in South Africa.
 

oceanblue

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Thank you for the article. DeBeers past and future? I have no idea but when I opened this I noticed a total of three DeBeers ads on the page.....one shoe and two lightbox. So maybe shoes and MMD rough?
 

DejaWiz

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They still dig about a third of the worlds diamonds by value.

My guess is they planned all this after the O's left

I am not aware of any Oppenheimer transgressions DW? Care to name some?
I know they played hard ball business, but not sure that was ever any where near the ethical issues of the social media and big tech companies. Not to mention food delivery companies that started out with small commissions and ramped up to around 1/3rd of the cost you pay (I refuse to use them because too many of them get killed and maimed on the road at night).
What Stigma?
In USA the anti trust case involved GE and De Beers for price fixing industrial diamond prices. GE got away with a wrist slap.
The O family lived (might still do so) in some of the best wine country in the world in South Africa.

Down from about 90%

I was speaking towards the past (and, to a certain degree, current) public perception (stigma) of DeBeers having a monopolistic stranglehold on the industry and the human rights violations associated with the industry, which most people will automatically associate and place blame with whomever holds the company reigns in an ownership capacity.
 

John Pollard

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Thank you for the article. DeBeers past and future? I have no idea but when I opened this I noticed a total of three DeBeers ads on the page.....one shoe and two lightbox. So maybe shoes and MMD rough?

"A Stiletto is Forever?"

Mea culpa - I chose that graphic for 'the other shoe drops' blog post. That said, DeBeers doesn't do things in half-measures. The foot and headwear sector may be next? Maybe we'll see diamond sandals and ... wait. Tiaras...tiaras are a thing! ...that sneaky syndicate. They're already there.
 

DejaWiz

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"A Stiletto is Forever?"

Mea culpa - I chose that graphic for 'the other shoe drops' blog post. That said, DeBeers doesn't do things in half-measures. The foot and headwear sector may be next? Maybe we'll see diamond sandals and ... wait. Tiaras...tiaras are a thing! ...that sneaky syndicate. They're already there.

This gave me a good laugh - bravo, John!
Can't wait to get me a diamond trucker hat!

TruckerHat.jpg
 

denverappraiser

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DeBeers doesn't do things in half-measures.

No, but this is different. They are offering 2-carat stones for $1600, but they aren't actually delivering them. They've been 'sold out' since before the campaign even began. These are most definitely not the same things. They may NEVER deliver anything, and they may be just fine with that. The point here, in my opinion, is to alter the LG business. This is a giant problem for everyone else, even their own dealers. The competitors all work basically the same way. They use the same GIA grading terminology and they price themselves based on otherwise similar natural stones but cheaper. Lightbox is completely different. They don't grade at all, they don't use labs at all, even though they own one. They don't even use the same scales. Stones are 'near colorless', not GHI or whatever. They won't provide a clarity beyond saying that it's guaranteed to be at least pretty good. They won't even give an actual weight. A one-carat stone means anywhere from 0.90 to1.10cts. They want the LG market to be different from naturals. So far it hasn't worked all that well but no one has long-term vision like DeBeers. They're used to winning and they're nothing if not patient.
 

John Pollard

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When did DeBeers realize gem-quality lab-grown diamonds would be “a thing?”
Probably decades ago when they figured "why continue to search and dig when we can just make diamonds whenever we want?"

When did they first conceive of Forevermark and Lightbox?
Per the article: FM - 2008, LB - 2018

When did they decide to move LGD production to Oregon?
2020

I'm inclined to agree with you on the first count.

For the conception of FM and Lightbox, my hot personal opinion is that they conceived of Lightbox long ago... Possibly long before they thought about consumer-facing Forevermark... Possibly at about the time Adamant Research Laboratories had their 'Eureka' moment in 1959. No doubt, the brain trust there (as GE) conceived of a gem-quality future.
 

John Pollard

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Why does the name Oppenheimer make me hungry for a beefy kind of stew?
Don't forget to have some wine from the Rhine valley where Oppenheim is situated!
I love that idea.

This gave me a good laugh - bravo, John!
Can't wait to get me a diamond trucker hat!
Chic! I suggest you sport it while feasting on Rhine grapes and Oppenheimer stew.
 

DejaWiz

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John Pollard

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Last edited:

FL_runner

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No, but this is different. They are offering 2-carat stones for $1600, but they aren't actually delivering them. They've been 'sold out' since before the campaign even began. These are most definitely not the same things. They may NEVER deliver anything, and they may be just fine with that. The point here, in my opinion, is to alter the LG business. This is a giant problem for everyone else, even their own dealers. The competitors all work basically the same way. They use the same GIA grading terminology and they price themselves based on otherwise similar natural stones but cheaper. Lightbox is completely different. They don't grade at all, they don't use labs at all, even though they own one. They don't even use the same scales. Stones are 'near colorless', not GHI or whatever. They won't provide a clarity beyond saying that it's guaranteed to be at least pretty good. They won't even give an actual weight. A one-carat stone means anywhere from 0.90 to1.10cts. They want the LG market to be different from naturals. So far it hasn't worked all that well but no one has long-term vision like DeBeers. They're used to winning and they're nothing if not patient.

I may have misunderstood your post - the 2 carat Lightbox stones from the initial offering sold out, but several people did order and receive them and have posted pics. The rest of the info (the do not come with individual grading, etc) is definitely accurate and agree they are marketing the LB stones in a very different way.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Down from about 90%

I was speaking towards the past (and, to a certain degree, current) public perception (stigma) of DeBeers having a monopolistic stranglehold on the industry and the human rights violations associated with the industry, which most people will automatically associate and place blame with whomever holds the company reigns in an ownership capacity.
For your general info DW, De Beers never mined more than about 45% of the worlds diamonds. The biggest chunk of the diamonds marketed by the Central Selling Operation (CSO) came from the Soviet Union and then Russia until the EU dinged them both for a monopolistic partnership. That would have probably been part of the benefit of moving to Botswana from London.
Argyle and lots of other mining companies also chose (or were bullied) to sell rough through the CSO.
I think it is very unfair to accuse De Beers (after the Oppenheimers took control in the 1920's) of human rights violations. On the contrary they were unpopular with South Africa's white supremacists. The Oppenheimer family were one of the few white wealthy and powerful families to stand against apartheid.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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No, but this is different. They are offering 2-carat stones for $1600, but they aren't actually delivering them. They've been 'sold out' since before the campaign even began. These are most definitely not the same things. They may NEVER deliver anything, and they may be just fine with that. The point here, in my opinion, is to alter the LG business. This is a giant problem for everyone else, even their own dealers. The competitors all work basically the same way. They use the same GIA grading terminology and they price themselves based on otherwise similar natural stones but cheaper. Lightbox is completely different. They don't grade at all, they don't use labs at all, even though they own one. They don't even use the same scales. Stones are 'near colorless', not GHI or whatever. They won't provide a clarity beyond saying that it's guaranteed to be at least pretty good. They won't even give an actual weight. A one-carat stone means anywhere from 0.90 to1.10cts. They want the LG market to be different from naturals. So far it hasn't worked all that well but no one has long-term vision like DeBeers. They're used to winning and they're nothing if not patient.
Excellent observation.
You don't need to actually supply or sell any or many +2ct's at $1,600 per carat to put the fear of ... into your competitors!
However I contend that producing larger diamonds probably costs less per carat. It costs less to polish one 2 carat than 20 0.10cts.
You need 4mm thickness to cut a 1ct. You need less than an extra 0.9mm to cut a 2ct and so on.
 

blingmeupscotty

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With todays technology, and the reduction of any companies production carbon footprint options [I will not get into specifics] it is almost safe to say that if you think about it, if they are not grading what they produce and ship, then what is to say they aren't already close to 100% autonomous? I mean wouldn't that make them the hero of the industry? Automation to produce the product from seed, cut it, polish it, package it and ship it. Very little hands on would be required.

Did they do it to test the upcoming seasonal market and get the jump? Throw a pebble in the competitors shoe before a holiday race? The speculations are endless and you [the experts] have been watching them far longer than I. But I do know that the $1600 for a a 2cttw stone [from the feedback that I've received from Indian suppliers] has shut the 3 or 4 that I communicate with down. And that's just on the retail front and they still said no lol.

Very interesting!
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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With todays technology, and the reduction of any companies production carbon footprint options [I will not get into specifics] it is almost safe to say that if you think about it, if they are not grading what they produce and ship, then what is to say they aren't already close to 100% autonomous? I mean wouldn't that make them the hero of the industry? Automation to produce the product from seed, cut it, polish it, package it and ship it. Very little hands on would be required.

Did they do it to test the upcoming seasonal market and get the jump? Throw a pebble in the competitors shoe before a holiday race? The speculations are endless and you [the experts] have been watching them far longer than I. But I do know that the $1600 for a a 2cttw stone [from the feedback that I've received from Indian suppliers] has shut the 3 or 4 that I communicate with down. And that's just on the retail front and they still said no lol.

Very interesting!
Yup!
Reminds me of an old Dad joke. The male pill. Put in a mans shoe and it makes him limp.
 

DejaWiz

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For your general info DW, De Beers never mined more than about 45% of the worlds diamonds. The biggest chunk of the diamonds marketed by the Central Selling Operation (CSO) came from the Soviet Union and then Russia until the EU dinged them both for a monopolistic partnership. That would have probably been part of the benefit of moving to Botswana from London.
Argyle and lots of other mining companies also chose (or were bullied) to sell rough through the CSO.
I think it is very unfair to accuse De Beers (after the Oppenheimers took control in the 1920's) of human rights violations. On the contrary they were unpopular with South Africa's white supremacists. The Oppenheimer family were one of the few white wealthy and powerful families to stand against apartheid.

Thank you for the info regarding the percentage mined.

As for their stigma in the public eye, it is not *me* making these accusations, but rather what I see on a regular basis from others. This was just posted earlier today in a discussion about Lightbox, for example...the comment about them being the "blood diamond folks" is still at the forefront of many minds:
Screenshot_20211026-185013.png
 

John Pollard

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Thank you for the info regarding the percentage mined.

As for their stigma in the public eye, it is not *me* making these accusations, but rather what I see on a regular basis from others. This was just posted earlier today in a discussion about Lightbox, for example...the comment about them being the "blood diamond folks" is still at the forefront of many minds:
Screenshot_20211026-185013.png

In the interest of fair reporting - and I know @DejaWiz knows this (as a charter member of the PS blog support club) - here's an excerpt covering actions taken late in the Oppenheimer dynasty, and continuing under the baton of Bruce Cleaver.

DeBeers' gives back by "building forever."

<< In the last 30 years DeBeers’, infamously known for monopolizing rough diamond supply through the 1900s, has become increasingly involved in philanthropic ventures on the African continent. In addition to landmark agreements with Botswana and Namibia – which have transformed those countries into some of Africa’s most prosperous – the mining giant moved key administrative operations as well as diamond sorting, polishing, sales, and distribution jobs to Africa from London.

Last year, when Covid-19 caused their mines to shut down, DeBeers’ acted to support their 20,000+ employees by sending $2.5 million to Namibia and Botswana. In June 2021, DeBeers’ made news by pledging another $7 million to support vaccine procurement there. All told, the miner’s contributions toward relief funds, community, and logistical support during the pandemic total $17 million. >>
 

oncrutchesrightnow

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No, but this is different. They are offering 2-carat stones for $1600, but they aren't actually delivering them.

That right there is the best observation. I think that might have been the intent. But it might backfire.

If I were 24 years old and spent all day on Instagram and thought my sweetheart might propose this coming Christmas with a 2-carat LG diamond for $4,000 (before I learned that Lightbox 2 carat loose diamonds would come out for $1,600), ain’t no way I would “settle” for a 1 carat earth diamond for $4,000 on Christmas morning just because the LB 2 carat is not available right now or the price of other LGDs might drop at some point in the future. And if my sweetheart didn’t want to spend more than $1,600 on a LGD because of the Lightbox faux-sale, then I would pay the $2,400 difference myself. The LGD prices are already too low to be out of the reach of young middle class people. Even if the receiver cannot persuade the giver to spend $4,000 right now, there’s no “be happy with what I get you or else buy it yourself” because at this point the receivers (I.e. mostly young women) can… buy it themselves. And young people don’t want to wait and see what prices do in two years.
 

izzymia

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I am Jane Schmo trying to buy nice diamonds for myself, lab or mined. Where the hell am I supposed to go and who can I trust???
 

diagem

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They still dig about a third of the worlds diamonds by value.

My guess is they planned all this after the O's left

I am not aware of any Oppenheimer transgressions DW? Care to name some?
I know they played hard ball business, but not sure that was ever any where near the ethical issues of the social media and big tech companies. Not to mention food delivery companies that started out with small commissions and ramped up to around 1/3rd of the cost you pay (I refuse to use them because too many of them get killed and maimed on the road at night).
What Stigma?
In USA the anti trust case involved GE and De Beers for price fixing industrial diamond prices. GE got away with a wrist slap.
The O family lived (might still do so) in some of the best wine country in the world in South Africa.

I am not aware about any Oppenheimer transgressions per-se..., but I am well aware of a book being written about DB & WWII..., and I was promised there will be corroborated surprises!
 

AprilBaby

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They are delivering the 2 cts and the 2 cts for the most part look beautiful. Not as pretty of course as WF but for the price pretty enough. The 1 ct were rare when they came out and now they are easier to get. They know exactly what they are doing and it’s working like a charm. Wait for the new cuts. I’m sure they are coming.
 

Karl_K

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In the interest of fair reporting - and I know @DejaWiz knows this (as a charter member of the PS blog support club) - here's an excerpt covering actions taken late in the Oppenheimer dynasty, and continuing under the baton of Bruce Cleaver.

DeBeers' gives back by "building forever."

<< In the last 30 years DeBeers’, infamously known for monopolizing rough diamond supply through the 1900s, has become increasingly involved in philanthropic ventures on the African continent. In addition to landmark agreements with Botswana and Namibia – which have transformed those countries into some of Africa’s most prosperous – the mining giant moved key administrative operations as well as diamond sorting, polishing, sales, and distribution jobs to Africa from London.

Last year, when Covid-19 caused their mines to shut down, DeBeers’ acted to support their 20,000+ employees by sending $2.5 million to Namibia and Botswana. In June 2021, DeBeers’ made news by pledging another $7 million to support vaccine procurement there. All told, the miner’s contributions toward relief funds, community, and logistical support during the pandemic total $17 million. >>
Lets not try and let DeBeers to far off the hook.
Who remembers the DeBeers feb/march price increases? They were not that long ago and during the time I have been on PS.
Every year if Christmas sales were good there was a large increase in prices to soon follow.
Why? Because they could.
In my book Rap is just as guilty for going along with it.
The list prices would immediately increase lockstep with DeBeers demands.
 

yssie

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Plenty of PSers have bought and received their 2ct Lightbox stones. There's a whole thread on it right here in MMD:

The fact that the above thread was apparently completely missed in this thread tells me a lot. I'm sure it would tell the MMD regulars a lot too, if they cared about RT at all. Which they mostly don't - and why would they? They're getting the message that their interests and activities are of little consequence here loud and clear.
 

BMI

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@yssie , Thank you, I find myself often applauding your late night posts. :appl:
I read threads in both RT and the Lab Diamond Forum. And I mean no offense to anyone, but I have been wondering for the past month or so why these blog posts pertaining to Lightbox MMD become threads on RT, rather than in the Lab Diamond Forum.

RockyTalky (Diamond Discussion)​

The place to be for everything on natural diamonds. Ask for a second opinion, learn about diamond grading (cut, color, clarity, etc), weigh in on pictures and topics, or ask for feedback on your own dream piece. Only mined, natural diamond-related questions and info, please.
John Pollard describes how DeBeers isn't just selling LG Diamonds. They're reinventing the sector!
 
Last edited:

yssie

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Agreed. The fact that these tech and trade conversations about MMDs keep happening in RT, not in the LGD forum with the most invested consumers just smacks of the ol’ boys club hanging out in their exclusive - and exclusionary - parlour as always. Even more so when contrasted to the quick rerouting to MMD when a consumer asks for help choosing a specific lab grown stone.

C’mon folks. Especially the professionals who are contributing here. PS is supposed to be a community. Which includes the LGD forum. Act like it.

I have reported the original post to request that this thread be moved to MMD.
 
Last edited:

diagem

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Plenty of PSers have bought and received their 2ct Lightbox stones. There's a whole thread on it right here in MMD:

The fact that the above thread was apparently completely missed in this thread tells me a lot. I'm sure it would tell the MMD regulars a lot too, if they cared about RT at all. Which they mostly don't - and why would they? They're getting the message that their interests and activities are of little consequence here loud and clear.

Interesting perspective..., thank you for the criticism.

I suppose the age old (natural vs non-natural) antagonism trickles all the way downstream. Hopefully it wont fall on deaf ears..., including mine.

I already twitted about this thread a few hours ago...

 

AprilBaby

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Boom here it is! This morning email! LB finest DEF , excellent cuts in 18 kt gold for $1500/ ct. Another sneaky move!
 
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