THE DIAMOND WORLD by David Koskoff

THE DIAMOND WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

If you've already acquired Timothy Green's The World of Diamonds (p. 263), you have nothing to gain from this latest report on De Beers and other elements of the far-flung, suddenly ubiquitous diamond trade. Koskoff perhaps got around more, and conducted more interviews, but essentially the story is the same: De Beers' control over nearly 80 percent of the total supply of uncut stones (including a healthy proportion from captive sources); its land-office business, notwithstanding its South-African base, with dozens of black-ruled states, plus nations as ideologically alien as India and the USSR. It's in the interest of all to cooperate with the ""Syndicate,"" Koskoff observes, since scarcity values are minimal: GE can synthesize perfectly good industrial stones at a reasonable price, and the globe abounds with untapped fields (including a prospective Golconda in northern Australia). As a practical matter, he maintains, diamonds are neither stores of value (on a par with, say, precious metals) nor particularly effective hedges against inflation. Serious matters aside, he offers some dandy yarns--about smuggling in Zaire, income-tax evasion on New York's 47th Street, the bribing of Nazi border guards during World War II. Industry greats, celebrated and obscure, are profiled too: you'll be especially taken with Jamil, an engaging Afro-Lebanese who's apparently the man to see in Sierra Leone. So it's a more-than-adequate job--but with no substantive edge on Green's (and somewhat less style).

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1981
Publisher: Harper & Row