“Before the 1870s, diamonds were still rare and associated with the aristocracy. In 1871, however, world annual production, derived primarily from South Africa, exceeded 1 million carats for the first time. From then on, diamonds would be produced at a prodigious rate” . It was during this time that the fall of III led to the republic situation in France, where crown jewels came to be reset by the then Empress. Many of the jewels that the royal family did not need were auctioned off. For the first time, private buyers got access to these jewels. In terms of social aspects people aspired to become more like their rulers. The diamond as a product was an example of this desire. In addition, cultural aspects such as accumulating their national jewels to prevent them from entering foreign markets was also noticed during this period. Diamonds during the time also came to be associated with the flaunting of cultural dominance over other nations, as is seen in the conflicting opinion of the Kohinoor diamond. Demand and consumption was hence driven by these socio-cultural aspects.
The increasing demand for the diamonds resulted in exploitation of the people in the lands of Angola, Zamibia and Tanzania. What are now independent territories, in the nineteenth century were still part of the former High Commission and were the Black homelands. The laborer’s were brought in from lands adjoining the mines. A migratory form of labor was hence created. The migratory system of labor is one where the movement of people from a country to another or a major geographic region to another happens for the purpose of employment. Usually, migratory movement can be of two types, skilled migratory employment movement and unskilled employment movement. Now in the case of the migratory movement, there are many concerns that have to be critically addressed. The first of it is that the migratory movement might not be well planned leading the migratory worker to face many risks at the site. Secondly, the worker might be vulnerable in the migration process, leading them once again to many dangers. Now in the case of the migratory movement observed for the purpose of mining diamonds, in order to meet the global demands, both forms of risks existed. However, another issue created in this area around the end of the nineteenth century was to carry much repercussions. Primarily, the easy labor opportunity led many migratory workers to take up the job, but they learned little in terms of skills as they were used mainly for the mining labor only. With less opportunity to learn skills, they did not have much employable aspects for other jobs and could not assist their societies to move into a more education segment. The diamond trading industry hence was both a contributing factor to their economy and way of living and at the same time was also detrimental for the people in the long run.
The diamonds being used as an economical product, spurred off much competition internationally. Some of the existing conflicts observed are in areas of Angola, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of these lands are diamond rich and serve as the direct suppliers for diamonds. Supply for diamonds is behest with greediness and this has resulted in a war like state in these places. What should have been a natural part of the economy has actually become a war of different elements. At one end, there are political motivations, as the political side which has the most trade negotiations for diamond mining would be the able to rule the place. Thence, political sides fight in order to gain access to diamond reserves. In these individual and economic conflicts, the civilians are injured leading to more conflicts and unrest. Researchers note that the fight for natural resources such as diamonds is one of the reasons why some regions in Africa are still in poverty. Diamonds are a positive influence on economy, however, these issues of diamond sourcing is something that has come under concerns. Similar issues are also reported in Zimbabwe.
Diamond as a product commodity is sourced from some key areas. Diamonds are usually found as Kimberlite rocks and placer deposits or alluvial deposits. They are formed under extreme heat over the years as extreme pressure was applied on carbon atoms leading to their crystallization. Such diamonds then find their way up to the surface of the earth when there is volcanic activity. Usually, these deposits pile up at the surface and get washed out to fertile alluvial deposits nearby. Therefore, areas of volcanic activity and areas where there are some natural movement such as the glacier etc is where diamonds are usually found. This happens in some regions of Russia, Botswana and South Africa. Notable deposits are also found in Namibia, Sierra Leone, Australia, Arkansas and Wyoming Canada. Zimbabwe was one of the main countries where diamonds were found. Zimbabwe’s central bank and its mining development corporation ZMDC seek to regulate diamond as an export commodity. They work with the mineral marketing corporation of Zimbabwe MMCZ. The MMCZ regulate trade and still around 40-50 million USD in diamond trade is lost as there are smuggling activities going on. Direct investment declines and loss of client trust in relationships are observed because of this.
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