Diamonds, revered for their beauty and rarity, have been cherished for centuries. However, it was a single company that transformed these precious gems into a global symbol of love and luxury. This company, De Beers, stands as a cornerstone in the history of the diamond industry, wielding unparalleled influence and leaving an indelible mark on the world of gemstones.

The Birth of an Empire

The story of De Beers begins in the late 19th century, in the heart of South Africa. In 1866, a young boy named Erasmus Jacobs unearthed a translucent rock on his father's farm near the Orange River. Unbeknownst to him, this unassuming stone was a diamond, setting off a series of events that would forever alter the course of the diamond trade.

As news of the discovery spread, prospectors flocked to the region, giving rise to what would later become known as the Kimberley Diamond Rush. In 1871, English entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes arrived in Kimberley and recognised the potential for immense profit. He swiftly began acquiring diamond mines and consolidating his holdings.

The Formation of De Beers Consolidated Mines

Cecil Rhodes portrait and De Beers Consolidated Mines share

Cecil Rhodes and an original Preference Share of the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., issued 1. March 1902

In 1888, Rhodes, along with his business partners, formed De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited. The company's name was derived from the De Beers brothers, who had owned the farm where the first diamond was found. Rhodes' vision was to create a monopoly on diamond mining, aiming to control the supply and demand of these precious stones.

Diamond Monopoly: A Global Influence

De Beers quickly asserted its dominance in the diamond industry. The company implemented various strategic measures to maintain control, including purchasing competing mines, implementing strict production quotas, and establishing a central selling organisation. This entity, known as the Central Selling Organisation (CSO), controlled the sale and distribution of rough diamonds.

By the early 20th century, De Beers held a staggering 90% of the world's diamond production, effectively creating a de facto monopoly. This level of control allowed De Beers to stabilise prices and prevent fluctuations that could have destabilised the diamond market.

Navigating Challenges and Controversies

Over the decades, De Beers faced various challenges, including legal battles and criticism for its market dominance. In the 1940s, a U.S. antitrust investigation led to an agreement that loosened De Beers' grip on the American market. Nevertheless, the company retained substantial influence globally.

Evolving with the Times

As societal values shifted and ethical concerns emerged, De Beers adapted its practices. It actively sought to combat "conflict diamonds," those mined in war zones and sold to finance armed conflict. The company implemented stringent measures to ensure the ethical sourcing of its diamonds, playing a pivotal role in the establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

A Legacy of Brilliance

Today, De Beers remains a powerhouse in the diamond industry. While its market share has decreased due to increased competition and changing consumer preferences, its impact on the diamond trade is immeasurable. The name De Beers is synonymous with quality, and its legacy continues to shape the global diamond market.

While [De Beers'] market share has decreased due to increased competition and changing consumer preferences, its impact on the diamond trade is immeasurable.

From a modest discovery in South Africa to a worldwide symbol of love and luxury, De Beers' journey is one of innovation, influence, and adaptability. Its history is intertwined with the very essence of diamonds, leaving an enduring legacy that will continue to sparkle for generations to come.

A Glimpse Into De Beers Exquisite Jewellery Collections

De Beers, a name synonymous with unparalleled craftsmanship and the epitome of diamond elegance, extends its legacy beyond mining. With their own line of jewellery, De Beers transforms these precious gems into wearable art, adorning individuals with timeless pieces that capture the essence of beauty and luxury.

The Brilliance of De Beers' Jewellery Selections

The Enchanted Lotus Collection

Inspired by the sacred lotus flower, this collection celebrates purity, rebirth, and eternity. Each piece is meticulously crafted to evoke the delicate petals of the lotus, with diamonds arranged in harmonious, flowing patterns.

The Talisman Collection

This collection draws from ancient traditions, blending rough and polished diamonds to create pieces with a distinctive, organic feel. Each design is a fusion of raw, uncut diamonds and polished stones, imbuing the jewellery with a unique, elemental energy.

The Phenomena Collection

In a tribute to the natural world, the Phenomena Collection captures the awe-inspiring beauty of natural phenomena. From the shimmering Northern Lights to the iridescent hues of the sea, each piece mirrors the ethereal wonder of the world around us.

The Dewdrop Collection

Inspired by the delicate droplets that adorn nature in the early morning, this collection showcases the purity and simplicity of dewdrops. The diamonds are meticulously arranged to mimic the glistening effect of dew on petals.

Collaborations with Renowned Designers

De Beers has also collaborated with some of the most celebrated designers in the industry, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative designs to their collections.


The legendary Parisian jeweller Reza infuses his designs with a touch of avant-garde elegance. His collaboration with De Beers has resulted in pieces that harmonise classical elements with a modern sensibility.

Jenny Packham

Renowned for her bridal and eveningwear, Jenny Packham brings her distinctive style to De Beers with a collection that exudes timeless sophistication. Her designs often feature intricate detailing and vintage-inspired motifs.

Giles Deacon

The fashion-forward British designer Giles Deacon introduces a contemporary edge to the world of diamond jewellery. His pieces for De Beers are characterised by bold, innovative designs that push the boundaries of traditional aesthetics.

The Pinnacle of Elegance: The Aria Collection

Among De Beers' impressive array of collections, the Aria Collection stands out as an exemplar of refined elegance. This collection seamlessly marries the classic allure of diamonds with a modern, minimalist aesthetic. Each piece in the Aria Collection exudes a sense of understated sophistication, allowing the brilliance of the diamonds to take centre stage.

From the Enchanted Lotus to the Aria Collection, De Beers' own line of jewellery showcases a remarkable fusion of artistry, tradition, and innovation. Each piece is a testament to the enduring legacy of De Beers in the world of high jewellery, offering a timeless treasure for generations to come.

6 Reasons Why De Beers Is A Famous Brand

De Beers Diamonds are forever 1948 campaign

The original print campaign of 'a Diamond is Forever' for De Beers, designed by Pierre Ino, 1947, now in the National Museum of American History Archives Centre.

De Beers is most famous for its historical and long-standing dominance in the global diamond market. The company is renowned for its strategic control over the production, distribution, and pricing of diamonds. This control allowed De Beers to shape the diamond industry and establish diamonds as a symbol of luxury, wealth, and romance.

Key aspects for which De Beers is particularly famous include:

  1. De Beers achieved a near-monopoly on the diamond market during the 20th century, controlling a vast majority of the world's diamond production. This level of control gave the company significant influence over diamond prices and supply.
  2. De Beers established the CSO to centralise the distribution of rough diamonds. This organisation played a pivotal role in regulating the flow of diamonds to the market, ensuring price stability and preventing wild fluctuations.
  3. Beyond its role in diamond mining and distribution, De Beers also produces its own line of high-end diamond jewellery. The company is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and distinctive collections.
  4. De Beers is credited with creating one of the most successful advertising slogans in history - "A Diamond Is Forever." This campaign launched in 1947, emphasised the eternal nature of diamonds and helped solidify the association between diamonds and eternal love, especially in the context of engagements.
  5. The De Beers legacy has left an indelible mark on the diamond industry, and the company continues to influence how diamonds are perceived and valued worldwide.
  6. De Beers has been active in efforts to combat the trade in conflict diamonds (also known as "blood diamonds"). The company played a crucial role in the establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which aims to prevent the sale of diamonds that fund armed conflict.

    While De Beers' dominance has waned in recent years due to increased competition and changes in market dynamics, the company remains an iconic figure in the history of the diamond trade.

    Can You Buy Second-hand De Beers Jewellery?

    You can purchase second-hand De Beers jewellery through various channels. Specialised jewellery retailers often carry pre-owned or vintage pieces, including those from luxury brands like De Beers. Additionally, online marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, and dedicated luxury resale platforms frequently feature listings for second-hand De Beers jewellery. Auction houses may also host auctions where pre-owned luxury jewellery, including items from De Beers, are available for sale.

    Furthermore, antique shops and vintage boutiques, both physical and online, are potential sources for pre-owned De Beers jewellery. Private sellers may occasionally offer their second-hand De Beers pieces through classified ads, social media platforms, or online forums. 

    It's essential to exercise caution when purchasing pre-owned jewellery and to verify the authenticity of the piece. Seek out reputable sellers and, if possible, have a trusted jeweller assess the jewellery before making a purchase to ensure its quality and authenticity.

    De Beers Vs Bulgari

    De Beers and Bvlgari logos

    De Beers and Bulgari are two iconic names in the world of luxury jewellery, each with its own distinct style, history, and approach to crafting exquisite pieces. Here's a comparison of De Beers and Bulgari based on several key aspects:

    Heritage and History

    • De Beers: Established in the late 19th century, De Beers is primarily known for its historical dominance in the diamond industry. The company played a significant role in shaping the diamond market and establishing diamonds as symbols of luxury and love.
    • Bulgari: Founded in 1884 in Rome, Italy, Bulgari has a rich history of creating high-quality jewellery, watches, and accessories. The brand is celebrated for its bold and colourful designs, often incorporating vibrant gemstones.

    Design Aesthetic

    • De Beers: De Beers is known for its classic, elegant, and timeless designs that often emphasise the brilliance of diamonds. Their pieces are characterised by clean lines, understated settings, and a focus on the natural beauty of the stones.
    • Bulgari: Bulgari is recognised for its bold and distinctive style, characterised by the use of vibrant coloured gemstones, unique combinations of materials, and often asymmetrical designs. The brand's creations are known for their modern and daring aesthetic.

    Materials and Gemstones

    • De Beers: While De Beers is primarily associated with diamonds, they also incorporate other precious gemstones into their designs. Their focus, however, remains on showcasing the brilliance and purity of diamonds.
    • Bulgari: Bulgari is renowned for its extensive use of coloured gemstones, including emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. They are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and creative ways of incorporating gemstones into their designs.

    Ethical Sourcing and Sustainability

    • De Beers: De Beers has been actively involved in efforts to combat the trade in conflict diamonds and played a pivotal role in establishing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. They have also made commitments to ethical sourcing and responsible mining practices.
    • Bulgari: Bulgari places a strong emphasis on ethical sourcing and sustainability. The brand has initiatives in place to ensure that its materials, including gemstones and metals, are sourced responsibly.

    Iconic Pieces

    • De Beers: One of De Beers' most iconic contributions to the world of jewellery is the creation of the famous slogan "A Diamond Is Forever," which forever linked diamonds with eternal love.
    • Bulgari: Bulgari's iconic pieces include the Serpenti collection, which features designs inspired by the serpent motif, and the B.zero1 collection, known for its distinctive spiral shape.

    While both De Beers and Bulgari are esteemed names in the luxury jewellery industry, they have distinct styles and histories. De Beers is synonymous with diamonds and timeless elegance, while Bulgari is known for its daring and colourful designs that incorporate a wide array of gemstones. Ultimately, the choice between the two would depend on individual style preferences and the desired aesthetic.

    De Beers Holding It’s Value

    De Beers jewellery, particularly pieces that feature high-quality diamonds, tends to hold its value well over time. This is due to several factors:

    Diamonds are Durable

    Diamonds are one of the hardest substances on Earth, making them highly resistant to wear and damage. This durability means that well-maintained diamond jewellery can remain in excellent condition for generations.

    Timeless Appeal

    De Beers is known for creating classic and elegant designs that stand the test of time. Their pieces often have a timeless aesthetic, making them desirable to a wide range of buyers.

    High-Quality Materials

    De Beers uses high-quality materials, including exceptionally well-cut and graded diamonds. This attention to quality adds to the inherent value of their jewellery.

    Brand Reputation

    De Beers is a globally renowned and respected name in the diamond industry. The brand's reputation for quality, craftsmanship, and ethical sourcing can positively influence the perceived value of its jewellery.

    Diamond Certification

    De Beers often provides certification for their diamonds, detailing the stone's characteristics such as cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. This certification adds transparency and credibility to the value of the diamond.

    Resale Market

    While jewellery generally does not retain its full retail value when resold, high-quality diamond pieces from respected brands like De Beers tend to have strong resale value in the secondary market.

    Moreover, the value of any jewellery, including De Beers pieces, can be influenced by various factors including market conditions, trends, and the specific characteristics of the individual piece. Additionally, jewellery appraisal and valuation can be affected by factors such as the rarity and quality of the materials, the craftsmanship, and the presence of any historical or cultural significance.

    Ultimately, if you're considering the purchase of De Beers jewellery for investment purposes, it's recommended to consult with a reputable jeweller or gemologist who can provide expert guidance based on the specific piece in question. To get you started, take a look at our current pre-owned De Beers jewellery


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    April 08, 2024