Diamonds at Rock-Bottom Prices

Diamonds at Rock-Bottom Prices

February 21, 2019

World-famous diamond company, De Beers, attempts to put competitors in the budding lab-grown diamond business out of work by drastically undercutting their prices.

High quality lab grown diamonds look identical to the real thing, but they offer a special appeal to some consumers, especially Millennials, who want stones that are obtained in ethically responsible and sustainable ways.

Diamonds grown in the lab also sell for substantially less.  Whereas a mined one-carat diamond might carry a $6,000 price tag, a one-carat lab-grown stone averages $4,200.

However, De Beers prices its Lightbox lab-grown line at an average $800 per carat, hoping to further differentiate lab-grown diamonds from “real” diamonds to preserve their status and appeal and also to drive the competition out of business.


Video Spotlight: Are lab-grown diamonds here to stay? (video is included in the article)


This post is based on The Star Online article, Lab-grown diamonds are forever too!, no author given, January 26, 2019; and the Yahoo Finance article, Lab-grown diamonds will survive Big Diamond’s attempt to kill them, startup says, by Zack Guzman, January 14, 2019. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Charles D. Winters.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why do some customers prefer lab-grown diamonds? Continue reading

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The Dark Side of Dollar Stores

The Dark Side of Dollar Stores

Dollar stores have experienced tremendous growth since the Great Recession. Once perceived as low-cost options in economically depressed areas with few, if any, grocery stores, they now emerge as aggressive business ventures that perpetuate inequality and segregation.

Certain communities have started to push back against the proliferation of these stores.


Video Spotlight: Don’t buy these foods at the dollar store


This post is based on the CityLab article, The Dollar Store Backlash Has Begun, by T. Misra, December 20, 2018; and on the YouTube video Don’t buy these foods at the dollar store, by Mashed, November 12, 2018. Image source: ljupco/123RF

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of dollar stores?

Guidance: The primary advantages include: a) offering inexpensive grocery items in low-income communities, b) providing a variety of low-cost staples, c) hiring in depressed areas, and d) filling the void left by grocery chains leaving low-income neighborhoods for more affluent ones.

The main disadvantages include: a) offering low-quality, unhealthy foods, not always at the lowest prices, b) pushing other, small grocery stores out of business, thereby exacerbating the “food desert” problem, c) providing low-pay jobs, and d) inadvertently increasing segregation.

2. What Continue reading

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