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Diamond Portraits - Robert Shipley Sr.

Robert Shipley Sr. was one of the most influential figures in modern gemology and his academic achievements helped establish a consumer market for diamonds. Shipley, the founder of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) established the standardization of diamond grading, at a time when diamonds were just becoming a mainstream consumer product for middle class America. Shipley would establish the systemization and language of diamonds that remains the industry standard. 

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Diamond Portraits –The story of Tiffany & Co.

Iconic Tiffany & Co. is among the most recognizable brand names in the world and one of the most valuable retail jewelry companies. A 2015 brand survey ranked it as the 66th most valuable brand name in the world, with a brand value in excess of $6 billion. Surprisingly, however, the company did not get its start in jewelry nor was it even called Tiffany & Co. The company began operating in 1837 as Tiffany & Young, a stationary and fancy goods emporium in lower Manhattan founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young. It wasn't until Charles Tiffany took control of the company in 1853 that he shortened the name to Tiffany & Company, and established the firm's emphasis on diamond jewelry.

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Diamond Portraits - Cecil Rhodes

The diamond industry has a storied history. It has been built by influential people, both past and present, who have left their indelible marks on a business that captivates consumers around the world. Over the next several weeks, we will highlight some of the achievements of these people, people from all walks of life, who have helped to lay a foundation for all of us. Perhaps we might learn something from their accomplishments that might help others to shape the industry moving forward. For an introduction to our list of famous people in diamonds, we will start with Cecil Rhodes, the founding chairman of De Beers. 

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Diamond Portraits - Ernest Oppenheimer

 Ernest Oppenheimer was the first of the Oppenheimer family to prosper in the diamond industry. He and his descendants would continue to play an integral role in shaping the industry for more than a century. He was born in 1880 in Freidburg, Germany, the son of a cigar merchant. At the age of 17, he began his working career as a diamond broker in London as diamonds were just becoming widely available with the early South African diamond rush. By 1902, he had impressed his employers so much that they sent him to South Africa to represent them as a diamond buyer in Kimberley.

At the same time, the massive Premier Mine was put into production. Its owner, Thomas Cullinan, had refused to join De Beers Consolidated mining, and instead began selling his production to two independent diamond dealers from London, Oppenheimer and his brother Bernard. This massive production undermined De Beers' sales, but Francis Oats, the successor to Cecil Rhodes as Chair of De Beers, was dismissive of the threat. However, production from the Premier Mine would soon eclipse the production from all De Beers mines combined. Oppenheimer was appointed as the local agent for the powerful London syndicate, much to the angst of Oats.

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Beneficiation in the Diamond Industry: Russia

Sergey Ivanov, President of ALROSA, said that diamond manufacturers in Russia would not be able to survive without government subsidies. The abolition of a 6.5% export tariff in September 2016 is a major contributing factor, he said, but so too are declining polished prices and increasing rough prices, which have driven much of the midstream to the brink. Diamond beneficiation in Russia has a history almost as long as mining itself, and some regions of the country are entirely dependent on diamond polishing for their economy. 

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The diamond industry pipeline starts with mining, then rough trading, manufacturing, jewelry setting and finally retailing. It may look like a short and efficient journey, however it is anything but t...
It might surprise people to know that there are only around 50 active diamond mines in the world. These mines never seem to be found on the outskirts of major cities. Instead, they are usually located...
We have seen how the industry has undergone significant changes over the past 20 years and how smaller companies have emerged to play an increasingly important role in supplying rough diamonds to the ...
When I discussed fancy brown diamonds in last week’s article, I stated that unlike other fancy color shades that are extremely rare in nature, brown diamonds are plentiful and therefore command much l...
A major diamond rush, located in Lüderitz (in the former German colony of Deutsch-Südwestafrika - German South West Africa) is among Namibia’s most famous diamond sites. In 1907, the Germen railroad w...
When most people hear about diamond mining, they think of South Africa, where diamonds were discovered in 1866 in the Kimberley region. A 15-year-old boy discovered the now-famous 21.25-carat Eureka D...
In the last two decades, much has been said about an impending demand vs. supply imbalance in the diamond industry. Huge mines discovered over the past 40 years are nearly mined out, some argue, and n...
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