Global Mining Observer published a colourful interview with Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group and founder of the Rapaport Diamond Report.

Here’s an excerpt:

Rapaport (Twitter)

Diamond Impresario Martin Rapaport (Twitter)

In rented cars and a bullet-proof vest, Martin Rapaport has taken a perilous route to becoming the diamond industry’s most influential body. Every week his Rapaport Group publishes the ‘Rap List’ of diamond prices, which is so widely used by dealers that it has become the global diamond price ben- chmark. His critics, who refer to him as Napoleon Bonaparte, claim he dictates the market.

“I learned the business bottom-up,” he tells Global Mining Observer. After studying in Israel and growing up in Miami Beach, he became an apprentice cleaver. “If you understand the struct- ure of a diamond, you can groove in and then flick, and the diamond splits along its seam.” If the cleaver calls it wrong, the diamond shatters instead.

After a year of cleaving and sorting, he returned to the US to open a broker- age business. “I didn’t want to hang out on the East Coast, because I was afraid of all the drug-dealers,” so he zigzagged the West Coast changing rented cars, “so nobody would hit me on the head for my little briefcase of diamonds.”

Continue reading: Issue 59 – Global Mining Observer (PDF)

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