“Your future success is going to depend on your ability to think,” stated Martin
Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, at the opening of the annual Rapaport
International Diamond Conference (IDC), held September 10, 2009 at The Times Center
in New York City.
A shortage of rough and an increase in demand will be the market reality of the
future, predicted Des Kilalea, director of the London Equity Research division at
RBC Capital Markets. He wanted the audience to understand that few firms are eager
to invest in diamond exploration due to the slim chance of a big payoff and the
ongoing threat of recession in the U.S.
The conference concluded with a heated panel discussion on the role of the Kimberley
Process (KP) in curbing human rights abuses in diamond mining. All panel members
agreed that human rights abuses need to be addressed and asked the question, “But
how and by whom?”
On a final note, Rapaport asserted that recessions are not bad if you know how to
take advantage of them. He also noted that emotional and financial security are
the new ‘ultimate luxury,’ and diamonds can be sold as both. “The future belongs
to free, fair, transparent competitive markets,” he concluded.
All conference proceeds are donated to Jewelers for Children and the nonprofit Fair
Trade and Diamond and Jewelry Association.