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Diamond-dealer juggernaut, De Beers, is launching a new company called Lightbox Jewelry to sell lab-grown diamonds. The Hustle Wed, May 30 Brought to you by Fundrise… we’re not talking money, we’re talking wealth. De Beers changes their tune, debuts lab-grown...
Brought to you by Fundrise… we’re not talking money, we’re talking wealth.
De Beers changes their tune, debuts lab-grown diamonds
De Beers, the biggest diamond dealer in the jewelry box, is launching a new company called Lightbox Jewelry to sell lab-grown diamonds.
These unnatural gems -- which cost 90% less than their billion-year-old organic brethren -- are a desperate De Beers attempt to retain diamond dominance in spite of shifting consumer preferences.
The market for mined diamonds has lost its sparkle
Modern bling-buyers are concerned about mining in vulnerable areas (and less interested in luxury goods) -- driving the market for rough natural diamonds down 40% since 2011.
Positioned as an ethical alternative to socially and environmentally damaging mining operations, lab-grown diamond startups have snatched up some of the unstable $100B market. In fact, analysts predict that lab-grown sales may outshine their natural peers as early as 2020.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em
De Beers, whose price-fixing diamond monopoly was busted in 2000, initially tried to persuade buyers not to purchase lab-grown diamonds -- going as far as marketing an “inexpensive” $4.5k ultraviolet detector to separate real stones from synthetic ones.
But, when De Beers realized its synthetic competitors weren’t going anywhere, the devious diamond-sellers flipped their strategy on its head -- by joining the lab-grown diamond revolution and selling their “lower-quality” gems at rock bottom prices to undercut the competition by 75%.
‘De Beers is forever’™
Now, De Beers hopes that hyping up real diamonds and trash talking lab-grown diamonds (while simultaneously producing sh*t tons of them) will preserve the company’s 130-year-old good name.
Even as De Beers shells out $94m to build a facility for lab-grown diamonds in Oregon, the company (desperate to keep the value of “real” diamonds high) still insists that lab-grown gems aren’t as cool as real rocks.
“Lab grown are not special, they’re not real, they’re not unique,” De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver said yesterday, claiming lab-grown and natural diamonds are in totally different categories.
But, the 2 are still indistinguishable to anyone but mineralogists using advanced microscopes -- so if you ask us, what we don’t know won’t hurt us (or our wallets).
Science is a girl’s best friend
Canada gets some slick new digs, purchases oil pipeline for $3.5B
Yesterday, the Canadian government announced it will buy Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project for $3.5B, regardless of the opposition from environmentalists and indigenous groups.
The purchase ensures that the Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta to a port in Vancouver, will begin a $5.2B expansion this summer.
Here we go again...
The pipeline has become a piping hot topic of discussion in Canada over the environmental concerns that come with tapping Alberta’s oil sands -- which has already proven to be a particularly nasty source of pollution (anyone remember the Keystone XL pipeline?).
While the province of British Columbia tries to block it, the oil industry and the province of Alberta argue that the expansion will create needed jobs and help boost the economy.
Canada doesn’t plan to hold onto it forever though, eh?
According to Reuters, the government will offer federal loan guarantees to ensure construction through the 2018 season, then sell it off to the highest bidder when “appropriate.”
The move puts Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in the hot seat as he attempts to strike a balance between the environment and the economy by backing the pipeline expansion, while also pushing a national “carbon price” that charges entities for their greenhouse gas emissions.
Ironically, the expansion would almost triple capacity to 890k barrels of oil from its current 300k.
The US makes Bayer sell the farm in biggest antitrust sell-off ever
The German drugmaker finally won US antitrust approval for its $66B takeover of Monsanto, to form the world’s biggest seed and agricultural-chemicals producer ever, after almost 2 years in review.
But, to clear regulatory hurdles, Bayer has agreed to sell about $9B worth of agricultural businesses and assets to chemical giant BASF, in the largest divestiture in American antitrust enforcement history.
The assets include Bayer’s canola, soybean, and vegetable seed businesses, as well as its Liberty herbicide business -- all products that currently compete with Monsanto.
It’s not making the critics any happier
Critics have long worried a merger could lead to price gouging and increased reliance on chemical farming. And, even with a divestiture of this ilk, environmentalist groups believe the merger to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
To preserve the greener pastures of the competition, Bayer also agreed to sell off “certain IP and research capabilities, including ‘pipeline’ R&D projects,” according to the DoJ.
The crop isn’t ready for pickin’ just yet
Bayer is still awaiting approval from Canada and Mexico, and has until mid-June to close its purchase. After that, Monsanto can ask for a higher price or pull out altogether.
But, Bayer doesn’t seem worried. They expect to receive the remaining merger approvals “very shortly” and believe they can divest themselves of the assets named in the settlement in about 2 months.
Ben and Jerry’s serves up a scoop of sustainability with blockchain ‘carbon credits’
Ben and Jerry’s, a company committed to cooling down global warming one scoop of Cherry Garcia at a time, has found a new way to achieve its carbon emissions mission: Blockchain.
The ice cream company is the first major retailer to partner with one of the several businesses attempting to create a carbon-credit system using blockchain tokens.
Carbon credits for consumers, not just companies
Ben and Jerry’s partnered with a company called Poseidon to build carbon credits into every scoop of ice cream purchased -- a departure from existing carbon credit models that are accessible only to big business.
Carbon credits (certificates of sustainability that incentivize carbon emission reduction by creating a market for carbon offsets) are usually only sold in massive quantities to companies -- but now blockchain-based “micro-transactions” make the same system possible for individuals.
Blockchain takes the brain-freeze out of carbon credits
Using Poseidon’s system, Ben and Jerry’s will contribute a penny per cone to offset emissions -- and offer customers the chance to pitch in a penny of their own. Eventually, Poseidon hopes to offer individual consumers an app to track their carbon offsets.
Poseidon’s not the only new kid on the Blockchain. The first “carbon-backed cryptoasset,” Climatecoin, allows consumers to use their Ethereum for good, and IBM recently partnered with Veridium labs to overhaul the corporate carbon credit market.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for free Hustle Con tickets
And that includes tickets to Hustle Con, the annual event hosted by your favorite newsletter-writing company (us).
If you read The Hustle regularly, you probably already know that Hustle Con is a one-day conference where founders of insanely successful, fast-growing startups share their stories and tips for building a business.
We started Hustle Con to learn from people who are way smarter than us and make friends with awesome attendees -- and we want as many people to experience it with us as possible.
So, we’ve set aside 50 tickets to Hustle Con… that are 100% free
No strings, no hoops, no joke. This is not a drill.
Dust off your business cards and enter for a chance to win here. As a bonus, we’ll even give you extra entries everytime you share your giveaway referral link with friends.
Win a ticket, learn new things, and make new friends -- your mom would be so proud.
THE FINE PRINT: These tickets cannot be sold for profit, or used to get a refund for an already-booked ticket.
deals deals deals
“The smell of BBQ is still in the air, and you know what that means. The holiday weekend sales are still smokin’ hot. Pull up a lawn chair and stretch your mouse hand, today I’ve got a steal on top courses from the online learning emporium: Udemy.”
It’s time to put your money to work. And you? You sleep.
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The problem is, tons of investments will tell you they’re your best bet. It’s like fad diets -- plenty of flair, but not much substance.
The key to turning that $1 today into $10 years from now, is finding the right investment. The investments that have historically outperformed all others. Investments like real estate.
Land: They’re not making any more of it, folks
Fundrise specializes in building portfolios filled with dozens of handpicked real estate projects — the kind of deals that really, really wealthy investors have loved, but the everyday folks have never had a swing at.
Fundrise opens the door for everyday investors. So you, your friend, your mom, anyone can invest in a portfolio of projects that have historically earned 8-12% average annualized returns.
Think of it as hiding $$ under your mattress, forgetting about it, then waking up one morning and potentially finding quadruple that -- that’s way better than a pea, princess.