Rapaport Magazine

Colored Diamond

Colored diamond dealer Eden Rachminov provides insider information on these uniquely precious gems.

By Gary A. Roskin, G.G., FGA
As its title clearly spells out, The Fancy Color Diamond Book: Facts & Secrets of Trading in Rarities offers its own rare gift: an insider’s knowledge. Sharing his hands-on experience and expertise as a third-generation diamond trader and fancy color diamond supplier, Eden Rachminov of Rachminov Diamonds 1891, in Ramat Gan, Israel, has written an authoritative book that is now in its second printing.

Beginning with an overview of grading color diamonds, the well-organized text goes on to examine each of the major fancy color hues. The details on how each hue is created, covering why a diamond is yellow, red, green, blue, violet, etc., are both technically correct and easily understood. The broad, descriptive prose is partnered with large images of colorful rough and specific cuts. Insightful visual prompts, such as “affordable-to-ultra expensive” value bars, blend text and graphics to further understanding.

The information provided showcases Rachminov’s years in the trade. For example, in the chapter on “Simplifying Shapes,” when discussing “Cutting Fancy Color Diamonds,” the author notes, “It is rare to find fancy color diamonds in traditional fancy shapes and step cuts because such shapes make it difficult to enhance the stone’s color and intensity. When fancy color diamonds do come in these shapes, they are considered much more valuable than comparable stones in a modified cut.”

Comments by Deborah Brookes, director, gemstone purchasing at Harry Winston, Inc.; Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, co-president of Chopard & Cie S.A.; Martin Rapaport of the Rapaport Group, and others all embellish upon what Rachminov has uncovered.

Perhaps, however, the strongest “tool” that Rachminov brings to the text is his personal observations. These “trade secrets” include what he calls a “Pink Alert!!” indicating when not to buy pink diamonds. “The color of some pink diamonds can change greatly during the polishing process. Unfortunately, this is a lesson some dealers have learned the hard way — myself included.” And Rachminov goes on to explain why. These lessons learned over the course of an extensive career in the industry are priceless, and give credibility to the information in the book.

A detailed chapter on diamond grading reports — “Demystifying the Cert” — goes beyond the basic information, although that is provided as well, to dwell on the small subtleties, the unspoken details, of what colored diamond experts want to see, or expect to see, with certain colored diamonds. For example, Rachminov points out that when examining clarity, “Fancy pinks generally feature inclusions. Just a small percentage of fancy pinks receive a higher clarity grade, with the majority of pinks falling within the SI to I1 range…. Blues, on the other hand, tend to be less included, with higher clarity grades actually more common.” You won’t get that information merely by looking at a diamond grading report! And he goes on to dissect every portion of the report in this manner, explaining what to look for in polish and symmetry, fluorescence and comments, proportions, culet size, etc.

In the chapter, “How Nature Makes a Diamond,” Rachminov highlights the localities most common for specific colors. Canada, Russia, South Africa and Australia are all discussed, and backed up by a world map indicating diamond mining locations.

Supporting the notion that a picture is truly worth a thousand words are the rough-to-finished images shown throughout the book, including a six-image series depicting a 13.14-carat crystal that finishes as a 6.04-carat fancy intense blue (shown on previous two pages).

The Fancy Color Diamond Book: Facts & Secrets of Trading in Rarities lives up to its title but even more, it is a great, easy read, sparkling with a personal touch from an experienced hand. Rachminov has produced a book on colored diamonds that should be included in the library of every colored diamond supplier, merchant and enthusiast.

Speaking with Eden Rachminov

Author Eden Rachminov explains the inspiration and process involved in creating The Fancy Color Diamond Book.

Rapaport Diamond Report: Would you briefly sum up your experience in the diamond business that led you to write the book?

Eden Rachminov: Through my daily encounters with colleagues from different levels throughout the diamond value chain, I have come to notice that there are many misconceptions regarding fancy color diamonds. Having extensive knowledge in this niche, I am often asked basic questions regarding this product. This made me realize that although there are quite a few valuable books regarding fancy color diamonds, there was no single book out there that was informative yet practical and reader-friendly enough to become a “must-have” reference book on this subject.


RDR: What type of process was involved to research and write it — how long did it take to complete?

ER: The process of bringing this book to life, from the idea inception, took over two and a half years. The initial stage of research and data verification was the lion’s share of this project. It entailed the combining of several components, including: Personal experience of three generations dealing in this niche; extensive research from public sources, such as mining companies, museums and mainly the publications of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and extremely valuable information from Professor Oded Navon from The Institute of the Earth Science, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Who is your intended audience?

ER: Mostly sales personnel who focus on fancy color diamonds. This product is a special niche within the luxury diamond product category. There are many “facets” to this product that are enlightening and fascinating. We truly believe that the more knowledgeable the sales manager promoting this product, the easier the sales process will become.


RDR: What are you hoping readers will gain from the book?

ER: The understanding that fancy color diamonds are appraised and valued differently from colorless diamonds. There are many specifications of a diamond that may impact the value of a colorless diamond but are regarded differently when relating to fancy color diamonds. These specifications include the amount of fluorescence in a diamond or the shape of a colorless diamond versus fancy color diamonds — traditional cuts are valued much higher in fancy color diamonds. Furthermore, we are hoping that our clients will gain a better overall understanding of this product. As mentioned earlier, we truly believe that the more knowledge they have, the more they will sell, which we hope will translate into incremental sales for us.


RDR: What would you say are the most important pointers the book offers?

ER: The unveiling of trade secrets and unknown facts from the “behind the scenes” of this niche. There are many issues that only those who extensively deal in fancy color will know and since this book targets the retailers, a great deal of the information covered will enlighten them and enable them to make better decisions when considering the purchase of different colored diamonds.


RDR: A portion of the sales go to the Save the Children organization. What made you decide to do that and why that particular charity?

ER: This book was published with the goal of adding value to the industry and driving demand of fancy color diamonds. We did not look to profit from it.

I wanted to donate proceeds from the book to a cause with a wide common denominator. Save The Children supports children from all over the world regardless of religion or ethnic origin. The organization works to resolve the ongoing struggles children face every day — poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease. As a father of three myself, I identify with the cause that Save the Children supports.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - December 2010. To subscribe click here.

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