"I began charting out my vision for a future for diamonds, in which they serve as a wealth preservation tool. It is a broad vision, and I want to start discussing how I think we should get there" Ehud wrote in a post in January 2017.
Financial institutions are another key stakeholder in the diamond supply chain, which Ehud believed expected greater transparency from the diamond sector.
"Bank financing is the lifeblood of the industry. Without it, there would be no money for exploration or new store openings," Ehud stated in 2015. He also stressed the need to boost confidence in the diamond industry. This lack of confidence is evident in, for example, the decline in available bank financing over the past several years.
Beyond diamond players, Ehud explored other supply-side topics that have sparked debates over the years where he believed that similar to demand-side issues, greater transparency is central to address them. Lab-grown diamonds provide a good example.
While their emergence was accompanied by rising concerns across the industry, Ehud believed lab-grown diamonds can play a complementary role to that of natural diamonds, provided consumers gain a better understanding of the inherent value of natural diamonds.
As another possible way to solve the problem of fragmentation in the diamond sector beyond consolidation, Ehud encouraged the industry to explore strategic alliances.
"Looking at other industries, there appears to be various ways to address the challenges of excess fragmentation in parts of the diamond sector. One option our sector can consider, especially given the slow trend in consolidation between players, is to make more use of strategic alliances."
Ehud explored possible methods of addressing the issue of fragmentation, drawing in part on lessons from other industries.
First among them was simply consolidation, whether natural or through mergers and acquisitions.
Delving further into the issue of fragmentation in the midstream (manufacturing) of the diamond sector covered in last week's post, Ehud said in August 2015, "The more we examine the facts, the clearer it becomes that the main problem faced by the diamond industry is that the midstream – the manufacturing sector of the diamond pipeline that mainly polishes diamonds – does not get its fair share of the pie."
In addition to improving pricing transparency, Ehud believed that the diamond industry should also tackle the other issues that have led to a decrease in trust in the sector as a whole.
Improving the pricing transparency of polished diamonds is the first part of the two main components of the Crystal Clear philosophy. The other part, driven by the first, is the ability to then determine the prices of rough diamonds.
The rationale that Ehud used here was that, ultimately, it is consumers who determine the price of a rough diamond based on how much they are willing to pay for its polished output.
The introduction of a transaction-based polished diamond price list is possible. The Mercury Diamond™ Price List which Ehud founded, provides wholesale polished diamond prices based on transaction prices in the wholesale market.
A key component of Mercury Crystal Clear™, the diamond pricing system which Ehud founded, is expanding consumer knowledge of diamond characteristics beyond the 4Cs (Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut) known to the ordinary buyer.
"The importance of a transparent and easily understood pricing system for diamonds cannot be stressed enough. For many years, the general press and many consumers have been stating that the misunderstood differences in diamond prices are a turn-off."
Richard T. Liddicoat, Jr. is commonly known in the diamond industry as the Father of Modern Gemology. He created and defined the modern diamond color scale D-Z, established many of the diamond grading standards used today, and introduced many diamond testing innovations.
Each year, the Hugo Dummett Diamond Award is given to a person or persons who have made a significant contribution to diamond exploration, discovery, or mine development. Hugo Dummett, the man after whom the award was named, is a legend in the diamond exploration industry, despite the fact that most people outside the world of geology have likely never heard of him. Dummett has been aptly described as "the brains, the ideas and the energy" behind the discovery of the Ekati diamond mine in Canada. He is also largely responsible for bringing mining powerhouse BHP Billiton into the diamond industry.
If you work in the diamond industry and know the name Monty Charles, you are dating yourself for a younger generation who has likely never heard of him. However Ernest "Monty" Charles was one of the principal architects of the modern diamond industry and the Sight system created by De Beers. He commanded the power within De Beers to decide which diamond parcels went to which clients, as well as who was on or off the Sightholder list. With De Beers controlling over 80% of the market at the time, and with Monty Charles in charge of both the buying and selling operations of De Beers, he was almost a monopoly in and of himself.
The Asscher family is one of a handful of diamond dynasties that have made an indelible mark on the diamond industry. The company bearing their name has been working in diamonds for over 150 years and is still run by the descendants of its founder. The Asschers have been responsible for cutting some of the most famous diamonds in history and, more recently, have been at the leading edge of design and development in diamond manufacturing and design.
Most people accept that Ian Fleming named the villain in his 1964 James Bond novel after architect Erno Goldfinger, who lived down the street from Fleming. However, a devout few still believe that Goldfinger was actually the product of Fleming's chance encounter with legendary diamantaire, Joseph Goldfinger, whom he met on a fact-finding trip to Charterhouse St. Joseph Goldfinger would later become known as "Mr. Diamond," and many credit him with putting the Israeli diamond industry on the map.
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