The Black Diamonds of Bahia (Carbonados) and the Building of Euro-America: A Half-century Supply Monopoly (1880s-1930s)

Academic Article


  • The first section analyses the emergence of Brazil’s natural monopoly in black diamonds. The second points out the crucial importance technological change (the Leschot diamond-head drill). The next section develops a unique analysis of how earnings were distributed along the black diamond commodity chain at the turn of the twentieth century. The final section underscores how the Great War created a vacuum into which North American capital plunged, such that by the late 1920s for the first time modern machinery was being used for the mass production of black diamonds in Brazil. While the Great Depression frustrated these efforts, the looming Axis and Allied contenders carried out secret schemes to secure Brazil’s black diamonds so central to the execution of modern war.
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    Publication Date

  • 2013
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