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Nov. 2004

The Couture Diamond Conference was recently held at the NY Plaza Hotel. No press except for people from National Jeweler, which is owned by Couture’s parent company, were allowed in the sessions. But we did hear some interesting speeches from luminaries like Donald Trump, Steve Forbes, Lev Leviev and Maurice Tempelsman of Lazare Kaplan.

Here are the main points made by each:

Donald Trump:

– He joked that the price of diamonds have gone up, but haven’t made profit from the ones he bought, because his ex wives all have possession of them.

– If you love what you are doing, never quit.

– Think big, and like a winner.

– Be lucky, and the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Maurice Tempelsman:

– “Art and commerce” meet in the jewelry industry

– Personal relationships and integrity are still the backbone of the industry

– “Supplier of Choice” has not been tested during a recession

– An ad in a newspaper does not make a brand. It has to be something that people walk into a store and want.

– You can only start a brand with big margins

Lev Leviev

Paul Raps, of Leviev’s New York office, introduced Leviev and told how he once asked Leviev why he keeps going after he achieved so much. Leviev responded that ‘the more money he makes the more he can give, the more of a difference he can make.’

Leviev’s remarks included:

– Diamonds sales still have not gone up as much as other luxury goods

– Too many brands could confuse consumers and only a few can survive.

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