This is a history of the production and marketing of diamonds from the period of the `rush' to Kimberley and the rise of De Beers to the formation of the Central Selling Organization by South African producers and London and South African merchants. Based on a wide variety of original sources from public and mining company archives, it is both a business and a political study of a South African monopoly which became an international cartel.
The Diamond Ring departs from previous histories by emphasizing the key role of the merchants in financing and organizing the trade in opposition to the South African state, as each struggled to gain
control of production in the 1920s and 1930s. It explains the reasons for state interest in diamond production and the eventual co-operation of politicians, officials, and diamond magnates in regulating supply and sales. It includes much new material on the ways in which the British government strengthened the hand of the Diamond Syndicate and the Diamond Corporation to maintain and extend central selling beyond South Africa to other states - Zaire, Angola, Ghana, and Sierra Leone - before
independence, as the `Ring' expanded into a world-wide brokerage based in London.
'I strongly recommend Colin Newbury's The Diamond Ring written for a specialist scholarly audience.'
Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Daily Telegraph
'Newbury provides a convincing overview'
German Historical Institute London Bulletin, Vol.XIII, No.1, Feb.1991
`This is a major new contribution, not only to South African history, but ... to large sections of world economic history as well. For the first time we have a fully researched and documented history of the South African diamond industry ... No short review can do justice to the scholarship and expertise revealed in this study. Its major new contributions are to emphasize the importance of the dEmand side (diamond merchants) and the role of the state in a
trade which, on its industrial side, became a crucial wartime industry ... Newbury's book truly glitters like a diamond.
'this is a model of business history - a major contribution both to business history and to the history of South Africa'
Simon Katzenellenbogen, University of Manchester, Business History, January 1991
'major contribution ... In his painstaking research through the dense and difficult thickets of official and business archives, Newbury provides a valuable and, sadly, rare insight into South African business history. The book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the development of the southern African economy after the 1880s.'
Richard Rathbone, Princeton University, American Historical Review, February 1992
List of illustrations; list of tables; list of figures; list of maps; list of abbreviations; Introduction: Miners and Historians; Part I: Ownership and Governance 1867-1889: Diggers' democracy; Miners' oligarchy; Company consolidation; Part II: From Monopoly to Cartel 1890-1919: Production and marketing: De Beers Consolidated Mines and the Diamond Syndicate; A colonial company: Growth and diversification; Monopoly challenged: Premier (Transvaal);
German South West Africa; Diamonds in wartime; Part III: Intervention and accomodation 1920-1945: `A wedge into the syndicate'; Alluvial mining; Crisis and reconstruction; Strategic mineral;
Conclusion; Appendices; List of Sources used; Index
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 19th October 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.23 x 16.36
Weight (kg): 0.88