In its distribution process, De Beers have commanded absolute authority. 10 times a year, De Beers sells boxes of rough diamonds to 160 select international dealers and manufacturers in market rituals as sights in London, although smaller sights are simultaneously held in Lucerne, Switzerland and Kimberly, South Africa. These select dealers around the world are called sight-holders and they take pride in being a part of the is select group of "Sight-Holders" So when you see someone saying "We are Sight-Holders", you know what that means. These sight-holders literally receive their lot of uncut or rough diamonds in a shoebox.
Before each night, De Beers sorts through thousands of rough stones and grades then according to shape, size, color, and quality into one of more than 5,000 categories of diamonds. While a fixed scale of prices exists for smaller stones, other need expert evaluation. Only then can the CSO (Central Selling Organization) begin the process of allocating diamonds among the sight holders.
CSO determines which clients or sight-holders receive which diamonds are at the sights in London. About a month before a sight takes place, clients submit requests through one of the five London-based diamond brokers for number and types diamonds they want. Most clients receive, not what they asked for but what De Beers decides to give them. A sight holder never knows whether or to what extent his requests have been met until he/she arrives at the second floor of the De Beers building. There accompanied by his broker, he collects his stones. In theory, a sight-holder can refuse a box of diamonds and hope for a better lot next time around. But few choose that option. Why? Because to do so might antagonize the De Beers hierarchy - which can make or break any diamond merchant.
CSO decides and allocates where the diamond rough should be sent for cutting based on each region's traditional expertise. This has been going on for years. Site holders cannot complain. Complainers if any will be punished with lack of favors and opportunity in the years ahead. The disobedient will not get to play again. Everybody is told to toe the line. That's the De Beers way!