In a mass email, an anonymous sightholder called on fellow De Beers clients to reject any unprofitable assortments.
Do “not to take any box which doesn’t have the value of at least 10% gross profit after polishing,” beseeches the missive, which came from a “simple sightholder” and has been reprinted online. “Please, if your future, the future of your children and the future of your diamond business is important to you, don’t agree to take the boxes.”
It promises nothing will happen if clients reject the boxes—“unless some stupid sightholder [buys them.]”
“[De Beers] need[s] our money,” it says. “They need us, and it is legitimate to expect a fair pricing which leaves also to our side some profit. If DeBeers would make $300 million less a year in profit it would leave each of us (on average) with extra 3 million dollars. What’s bad and what’s wrong in such a request?”
“Don’t be ‘clever’ and don’t be heroes [by saying,] ‘whatever others reject, please give me,’ ” it continues. “They will do it with pleasure and at the end of the day they will go drink and laugh about you.”
De Beers spokesman David Johnson responds: “When it comes to the purchase of sight boxes, no customer is under any obligation to buy but we believe we have a strong product and service offering. We do however recognize that it has been a challenging period for the midstream for a number of reasons and we continue to focus on activities that will help address the challenges.”