Rapaport Magazine
The final cut

Shining examples

Rapaport Magazine asks: What person in the industry do you most admire, and why?

By Leah Meirovich

From left: Beth Garstein; Grant Mobley; Antony Dear

Beth Gerstein - CEO and cofounder, Brilliant Earth

I have tremendous admiration and respect for Dorothée Gizenga. She passed away in February and leaves behind a legacy as an industry leader — and most importantly, as a phenomenal person. She served as executive director of the industry-NGO joint effort Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) for 11 years and drove remarkable changes during that time.

As head of DDI, Dorothée was known as a tireless advocate on behalf of the world’s 1.5 million artisanal diamond miners, a truly transformative leader in this area. She was someone who dedicated her life to creating a brighter future for artisanal diamond communities and really making a difference. She spearheaded mobile schools in diamond communities to provide education for kids who otherwise might be working in the mines. She looked for ways to create impact, from education to community development and vocational efforts.

Dorothée was a wonderful partner to me. She had a tremendous heart and found ways to make a difference in so many people’s lives. She was an exemplary leader, and the world was a better place with her in it.

Grant Mobley - Trade Director, Natural Diamond Council (NDC)

The fine-jewelry industry has long been incredibly challenging to break into. It is so often a legacy industry, passed down generation after generation, and the alternative generally requires large amounts of startup capital and industry connections. I am a product of that legacy, and so many of the people I admire in this industry are, too. It wasn’t until my work with the designers who are a part of the Natural Diamond Council’s and Lorraine Schwartz’s Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative (EDDI) that I realized the people I admire most in this industry are those without a jewelry legacy, connections, or big investments. The designers’ talent and passion for the diamond industry alone has helped them break in and thrive despite the huge barriers to entry. Seeing their stories unfold through their collections has been an honor to watch.

Antony Dear - Head of sales, Grib Diamonds

I was sad to read on February 3 that the site Polished Prices announced it was closing down. [Founder] Charles Wyndham et al launched the site back in 2002, and it was at that time the only diamond-price benchmark based on multiple sourced transactions.

But as a marketing manager with BHP Billiton, what I really loved about Charles was his blogging. This blog was an irreverent, no-holds-barred critique of everyone and anything in the diamond industry, and it was, for the most part, correct. Charles was a huge supporter of transparency and a fan of auctions. He was almost alone in predicting the rise of auctions as an efficient, transparent and effective way of selling rough diamonds, at a time when many other commentators and diamond companies were busy condemning them. The article “Ghost Prices,” which he wrote on March 6, 2012, was a joy to read. I even used it for one of my [key performance indicators (KPIs)] at the time. His writing has decreased over the last few years, but I do hope he continues on another platform or medium, as his absence would be a huge loss for the industry.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2022. To subscribe click here.

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