Diamonds from Mine to Finger: For a Global Labor History by Way of a Luxury Commodity

By Karin Hofmeester

This paper surveys the lengthy history of globalization which the diamond business experienced, with its continually shifting international centers of production, trade and consumption. Many different factors have played a role in these shifts, ranging from geological discoveries to labor costs and transport costs, and changing consumer preferences. The paper reveals the nature of the labor relations which were involved in these relocations, and how they kept changing from the 17th century onward.

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