De Beers has left no avenues to control, stop, take over, make friends with or bulldoze its competitors when necessary. The Oppenheimers using all colonial connections of the British Empire, succeeded in weaving all the later discoveries in Africa, the colonial administrators in Angola, the Congo, Sierra Leone and with Dr. Williamson in Tanganyika. It was fully backed the Belgian and French governments, and it was recognized by every other government concerned as the official channel for the diamond trade.
Many Tried but De Beers Prevailed
In 1971, it crushed Sammy Collin's Marine Diamond Corporation in Namibia by forcing it into bankruptcy. It threatened its customers that their supply from De Beers would be completely cut off they bought from MDC.
In the mid '70s, Albert Jolis of Israel tried to buy mining rights in Angola, Tanganyika, Ubangi and Luanda and had in fact completed pacts with the respective governments. De Beers kept close watch on the unstable political situation and managed to support the successful revolutionary factions at the right time and use British diplomacy to make new deals with the new governments and cut Albert Jolis off!
Harry Winston of New York also tried to buy mining rights in these countries and in Portugal. He too was stopped by De Beers by cutting off his supply and forcing the Portuguese government through the British embassy in Portugal to severe his ties with Harry Winston.
Diamonds from New Sources
Thanks to the new competition from the new mines and new owners in Russia, Australia and also the new trends that have challenged the diamonds cartel of over 100 years. De Beers market share has come down to 60% from over 89% in the past.
New diamonds mines in Russia, Australia and new flood of smuggled diamonds from African countries is threatening De Beers' century-old grip on the world diamond trade.