When the Diamond Industry Moved Online
Leibish Polnauer, president and founder of Leibish & Co. Fancy Color Diamonds discusses all about Leibish & Co., where the idea was developed and how the business is run on a day-to-day basis.
When this sweet young man was born, about 32 years ago, I sold my first fancy diamond. Since then I was always going against the stream. When everybody run right, I went left.
About 15 years ago, after I travelled around the world a hundred times around and around, I decided we have to have a new way of marketing diamonds. I started the Fancy Diamonds Internet site.
Fancy colored diamonds then at the time were a tiny little segment in the industry. Nobody really even considered to make a website and sell diamonds through the website.
When we sold our first diamond for 80,000 on the website, I didn’t believe myself. It took me half an hour to comprehend that we got $80,000 from a client on a stone which he never saw, just a picture on the web.
Our business is a family undertaking and everybody’s in it; my five children, my wife, and myself. The operation is not a family business but a business for everything. It’s run like a public company, not like a Yiddeshe [community].
The diamond business is a complicated undertaking. Only people with a global reach and the ability to produce added value can survive, no more place for brokers. We buy diamonds worldwide, from India, from Antwerp and from Africa. We polish, we repolish, and end of the day we make also jewelry in our own factory.
Only that way, we can reach with our website to the final customers, to dealers, to traders in the best and the cheapest possible way.
The diamond industry is a sentimental business. It’s based on illusion, on mood. The industry’s similar to a Chameleon diamond. When the stone is heated, it turns to orange. When the situation calms down, it will be a beautiful, strong, deep green. We like green pasture. That is our business, green and friendly.