posted on Aug, 15 2003 @ 01:37 AM
Armed with inexpensive, mass-produced gems, two startups are launching an assault on the De Beers cartel.
Next up: the computing industry.
By Joshua Davis
Aron Weingarten brings the yellow diamond up to the stainless steel jeweler's loupe he holds against his eye. We are in Antwerp, Belgium, in
Weingarten's marbled and gilded living room on the edge of the city's gem district, the center of the diamond universe. Nearly 80 percent of the
world's rough and polished diamonds move through the hands of Belgian gem traders like Weingarten, a dealer who wears the thick beard and black suit
of the Hasidim.
"This is very rare stone," he says, almost to himself, in thickly accented English. "Yellow diamonds of this color are very hard to find. It is
probably worth 10, maybe 15 thousand dollars."
"I have two more exactly like it in my pocket," I tell him.
I find this article exciting on a number of levels:
1) The technological possibilities. Diamond as a semiconductor instead of silicone.
2) What may be the end of the De Beers company. Anyone familiar with the diamond industry knows that company stockpiles diamonds to keep the value
artificially high. In itself, that's just business, but when you add how the diamond trade funds terrorism, it's criminal.
3) The economic lesson. Seeing how diamonds that are sold for tens of thousands of dollars can be made for a few hundred bucks should be food for
thought for those who insist on working the removal of the United States from the gold standard into conspiracy theories...but that's another topic.