The Russian Connection

It seems almost beyond belief that at a time when the new Russia is being torn apart by internal political dissent, by war with a wayward satellite and by economic dysfunction that more and more people in the diamond world are turning to that nation as some kind of savior. The situation says more about disenchantment with De Beers than enchantment with Russia. Because it seems to be turning nastier by the month, it's probably a good time to take a new look at what's going on. The bedrock issue is money. Diamond dealers from Hong Kong to Tel Aviv to New York have been complaining for some time now that De Beers' sight selections and prices make it almost impossible to show a profit on cut goods. They are quick to point out that making money isn't a major problem for De Beers. De Beers, for its part, concedes that things are tough in the world diamond market and insists that its caut

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