Once a monopoly in the diamond market, De Beers is a major player in all parts of the diamond world. Hailing from South Africa and London, this corporation is more just than just a brand as it has become a worldwide diamond institution.
History of De Beers
By 2020 De Beers is officially a well-known name in the diamond world and to many consumers not necessary knowledgeable about the diamond nor jewelry industries. The De Beers Group of Companies specializes in many facets of the diamond industry, from diamond exploration and mining, industrial diamond manufacturing, retail operations and diamond trading.
Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman and mining enthusiast, founded De Beers in 1888. The name comes from two dutch settlers and brothers, Diederik Arnoldus De Beer and Johannes Nicolaas De Beer. They found diamonds on their farm in Kimberley, South Africa, and this land would eventually become the mines Big Hole and De Beers.
In 1929, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer becomes the Chairman of De Beers, and his son, Harry Oppenheimer also joins the company in 1934. Harry Oppenheimer is credited with De Beers advanced and extremely well known advertising campaign. In 1939, he heads to New York City to start on this advertising adventure. The best thing to come out of the trip, was the slogan, “A diamond is forever.” This changed the entire diamond business, as well as catapulted De Beers to the top of the diamond chain.
De Beers sells approximately 35% of the worlds rough diamond production, and in 2001, they decided to take things to the retail world. The De Beers Group of Companies partnered up with LVMH, the most acclaimed French group in luxury goods, in order to establish De Beers Diamond Jewellery. In doing-so, De Beers became a legitimate and glamour brand offering diamond jewelry collections with a big portion dedicated to bridal and engagement rings.
In terms of extraordinary diamonds, one of the first stones De Beers Diamond Jewellery purchased is the Millennium Star. A 203.02-carat stone with a D color, Internally Flawless pear shaped diamond! To this day, De Beers still owns it. By 2002 they opened their first store, in London on Old Bond Street. With a growing success, they open their first international store in 2003, in Tokyo, Japan. They have since grown to over 30 stores worldwide, and in 2017, De Beers Group took over full ownership of De Beers Diamond Jewellery.
Forevermark by De Beers
In 2008, De Beers started the brand, Forevermark. This branded diamond is sold through many retail outlets, and can be identified by their inscription on every diamond of the Forevermark logo. Less than 1% of the world’s diamonds pass the test to become a Forevermark. These stones are hand-selected, with a responsible sourcing. The De Beers company mines in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Canada. Their promise is that a Forevermark diamond is beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced.
At the start of the 21st century, De Beers was a monopoly in the diamond market. This has since been overthrown, but it is clear that De Beers has a hand in all aspects of the diamond market. As their famous slogan suggest, diamonds and it seems De Beers itself, are truly something that will last forever.