De Beers Consolidated Mines at English => English (The Britannica Concise) Of Explained:
World's largest producer and distributor of diamonds. Diamonds were first discovered in S Africa in the mid-1860s on the de Beer farm. Two diamond mines dug there (no longer in operation) were at one time the world's most productive. C. Rhodes bought a claim to the De Beers mine in 1871, and eventually bought claims to most of S Africa's diamond mines. To keep prices high and demand steady, he formed the Diamond Syndicate (forerunner of today's Central Selling Organization) in the 1890s; it now controls nearly 80% of the world diamond trade. De Beers also has interests in explosives and chemicals, in synthetic diamonds, and in gold, coal, and copper mines.