The potential sale of De Beers’s London HQ offers a rare glimpse inside the mining giant, from subterranean vaults to a rooftop helipad.
Number 17 Charterhouse Street, a fortress in the heart of London, has been De Beers’s headquarters since 1979, but the street has been its home since the 1930s. At its peak 90 percent of the world’s diamonds passed through this structure. That’s now coming to an end. De Beers’s owner, Anglo American Plc, is leaving the building and moving staff across the capital as part of a wider cost-cutting plan.
The building, in London’s Hatton Garden jewelry district, offers unique amenities. Like subterranean vaults, that once held some $5 billion of uncut diamonds. A famous modern art collection decorates the walls. On the roof is one of the only private helipads in London north of the River Thames. Here’s a look inside the industry’s most iconic address.