INDUSTRIAL DIAMONDS: IN WAR AND PEACE
One morning in January, 1940, the American government and the American people were irritated to read that a European-bound Clipper plane had been held up at Bermuda and all its mail searched by the British. Some called it an affront and demanded that the government formally protest. Then it became known that one of the items sought by the British was a package containing industrial diamonds.
public accustomed to thinking of a diamond as a sparkling gem was
puzzled. But this international incident, it so happened, was only the
climax of a bitter and worldwide struggle of wits—on the part of
Germany to get her hands on every possible diamond; on the part of
England to thwart her enemy.
was quite aware that Germany, hard put to get enough diamonds in the
first World War, had been trying to accumulate as much of a reserve as
she could ever since. That was one minor or incidental reason why she
invaded the countries boasting the two greatest diamond-cutting
capitals of the world, Antwerp and Amsterdam. Indeed, just before
Germany's hordes swept into the Low Countries in this war,
representatives of the British Board of Trade had visited the two
cities to check on firms understood to be re-exporting British Empire
industrial diamonds to Ger-