UpFront

DE BEERS DENIES RUMORS OF TWO-TIER MARKET De Beers has publicly acknowledged that it lowered prices on certain types of low-quality diamonds for the first time ever in August. But a senior executive at De Beers insists there's no move to abandon cheaper diamonds to the free market. Ever since De Beers announced it had "readjusted" prices of some low-quality diamonds downward by 11%, rumors have circulated in diamond centers that the cartel plans to establish a two-tiered market for gem diamonds. One tier would focus on better-quality stones and would have support from De Beers; the other would comprise low-quality stones that De Beers would allow to float with market conditions. De Beers Director Tim Capon says there's "absolutely no plan" to adopt such an arrangement. A two-tiered system would be unworkable, he says, because the rough diamond grading and pricing structure is too v
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