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par Josianne

Publié le Mar 5, 2020 sur Style & Beauté | 0 Commentaires

Shine bright : Interview with private jeweller and diamond expert Michal Amram

 

Let me first introduce to you my dear friend Franciska Chene B, who is currently studying at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) to be certified as a Graduate Gemologist. She is working on demand for bespoke diamond jewellery in Paris, London and Milan. I’m proud to tell you that she works exclusively with ethically sourced diamonds.

I am sharing with you an interview that she conducted with highly respected private jeweller Michal Amram, who’s life, name and family are tied closely together with diamonds. She is sharing with Franciska (and with us) a bit of her extraordinary knowledge about diamonds and jewellery.

 

Franka Sparklers and Michal Amram

Franka Sparklers and Michal Amram

 

by Franciska Chene B.

F: When did you first fall in love with diamonds?

M: Oh wow I was too young to remember, but during my childhood I already knew that this is my passion. My father’s love for diamonds infiltrated my thoughts and gave me knowledge. His diamond adventure started by working as a cutter at the Diamond Bourse in Israel. He was polishing diamonds and would bring them to life with exceptional fire. This is where he started. When I was born, he and my uncle dealt with natural fancy colour diamonds. He is well known for bringing fancy colour diamonds to the Italian market.

People know my family for the stones full of fire that we give to our customers and the love for perfection that we have for diamonds and for trading white and fancy colour stones. It is a beautiful thing to be able to understand how nature has worked for billions of years. How lucky we are that our world is full of such beauty.

Humans have been clever enough to extract and polish it. Actually, if we look at the past, diamonds were cut in a much different way, which worked for centuries. With the years, diamond cutters learned how to get the best sparkle and fire from these stones. If we look at a sparkly one carat diamond, we don’t always appreciate the history, mathematical analysis, technological evolution and the huge amount of effort put in to perfect each stone.

 

Diamond ring from St-Amram private jeweller

 

F: Do you have a favourite type of diamond? 

M: There are many white and fancy colour diamonds that strike me. If we are looking at a white brilliant-cut or modified-cut diamond, it is the fire that conquers me, while in the case of step cuts, it is the perfect mirror effect and proportions. In fancy colours, very sweet tones or deep colours attract me; the colours you wouldn’t even think you could find in nature are so exciting.

From light to vivid, it is the tone that sets the game. Clear, sparkly stones with exceptional colours remind me of a mysteriously spiritual message “The representation of the known and the unknown.”

The cut of a stone is so important as is the person who polished it and the ethical background. It’s not only the certificate but the honest people in the industry who know how to choose and bring to life a great stone. When, like me, you know the wonderful souls, professional people behind the finished product, who become good friends, family friends that you have known for all of your life, it changes the whole perspective. Knowing people who spend their lives hunting for rough stones and unveiling their hidden beauty have a special place in my heart. The fire and shine – the fifth ‘C’ as you might want to call it – amazes me.

Diamond ring from Michal Amram

F: In terms of shapes: do you have preferences? What is your opinion about the oval mania of the world in 2019?

M: It is hard for me to say which shape I prefer the most. My opinion will be always based on the diamond as the result of a combination of all the elements that makes it unique. The shape really only becomes interesting if the stone is perfectly cut. I have loved emerald cut diamonds ever since my childhood, as they look very sophisticated. The cushion cut looks enchanting, the old cuts can be really charming and round brilliants, given perfectly harmonious proportions, can shine incredibly. They represent infinity, or the circle of life.

Talking about the oval shape, I think it follows a similar principle and meaning behind the classic round brilliant. One of my customers said that he wanted a round shape with a twist and no edges that will remind him eternal love and life. This is what led us to choose an oval shaped stone for him.

 

Natural colour diamond Private Jeweller St.Amram

 

F: Is there something that people say or think about diamonds that you think it is insane? 

M: Yes, it actually happens quite often, especially with the younger generation when it comes to social media. Social media is a strong platform for sales and marketing but it can be misleading. The most inspiring part of social media is the strength of communication. The downside is that there are no filters. People can talk about diamonds and jewellery but the information is not filtered at all. For example, many state wrongly that a lab grown diamond holds the same value as a natural one.

Fortunately and unfortunately for the people that receive this information, this is highly untrue and this type of dishonesty is unfairly affecting the general public who have no knowledge about the diamond industry. Millions of people read these articles. I find the word unfair to be an understatement. It should be correctly stated that not everyone projects false information on social media, however, one should be extremely careful and refer to a professional in the industry that is highly recommended by close family and friends.

Since I graduated from the Bocconi University of Milan in International Economics & Management with a major in Finance I am asked about diamonds as a form on investment. When you are in the hands of a true expert and diamond passionate, that shows you information with market transparency, it can lead to amazing returns on investment. People can get a glimpse into the numbers when viewing auctions at Christie’s or Sotheby’s for example. Natural diamonds hold value. This is something a lab grown diamond will never be able to give the wearer. Millions of years can not be replaced with a product fabricated in a few weeks.

 

Diamond rings from St-Amram private jeweller

 

F: So you’re saying that the diamonds produced in a lab don’t have the equivalent value of a natural diamond, yet manufacturers ask for prices that correspond with the value of a natural diamond. They do not understand that lab grown diamonds don’t hold their value or increase their value as a natural collectible over time.

M: Nature is the best. It is basically a tangible, natural currency. It’s like real estate or a fine art painting. Diamonds are tangible value that can be worn and enjoyed everyday or on occasions. A fake watch, car or painting will never get close to the real deal.

F: So you’re saying that the diamonds produced in a lab don’t have the equivalent value of a natural diamond, yet manufacturers ask for prices that correspond with the value of a natural diamond. They do not understand that lab grown diamonds don’t hold their value or increase their value as a natural collectible over time.

M: Nature is the best. It is basically a tangible, natural currency. It’s like real estate or a fine art painting. Diamonds are tangible value that can be worn and enjoyed everyday or on occasions. A fake watch, car or painting will never get close to the real deal.

 

Natural colour diamond ring by St. Amram private Jeweller

 

F: What is your best advice for someone looking to purchase a natural diamond? 

M: When you buy a diamond, you should buy it from people you really trust. For example, while I am in London, and there is a stone in Hong Kong that my client needs, I can call my partner in Hong Kong and ask him to be “my eyes”. This is someone who has worked with me for years and like him I have built a network worldwide, a network of loyal people and true eyes. We have been looking at stones together so many times in different occasions that I trust the person’s eyes as much as I trust mine.

I have fine tuned my sourcing process to ensure that my customers receive the very best product that can be found on the market, tailored to their needs. Also, I would suggest to think about certificates as one important pillar. Certificates are very important. But when I buy, I like to know small details that are not included in certificates. This is also the reason why I love to see the stones before purchasing them. I want to know everything about my diamonds. Sometimes I buy stones and just get them certified later as I know they are magnificent diamonds.

 

Private Jeweller St.Amram diamond certificate

 

F: If you were asked to give a Ted Talk, what would you speak about?

M: I would speak about the value of diamonds and the wonderful impact that the local mining villages are getting from it. Later I would share with you my thoughts about moments worth being marked by diamonds.

Since I come from a financial background, the intrinsic value of an asset has always been of primary importance to me. The worth of many kinds of diamonds sharing certain characteristics have been climbing up in value since centuries with a very steep curve over the last few decades. Some stones have more liquidity while others are bought to hold for a longer period. Therefore diamonds have a financial and aesthetic beauty that can be appreciated at all times.

What is unknown to most people but it is very important for me to communicate is the flourishing of communities located around mining areas such as Botswana and Sierra Leone which are getting wealthier with good education, healthcare systems and a beautiful life quality. It is emotionally rewarding and an honour for me to be an active part of the diamond industry’s force for good.

Diamonds represent love, life and energy that enclose those special moments that you would like to remember forever.

This brings me to the next point that love is natural like a diamond should be. Beautiful memories spark feelings of joy. My company’s slogan, “Moments that last forever”, is all about cherishing people and the important moments in life. It may sound cliche but this is how I feel about it.

You have an engagement for example, where two people make a vow that lasts forever. This is the reason we gift diamonds. They last forever and they will belong to you and generations to come. Tradition and family are very important and we need to cherish them in the present and future. Newborns, birthdays, anniversaries and self gifting are crucial moments in our life too. I think today we need to remind ourselves to be grateful and appreciate the most beautiful moments in life.

 

Diamond ring from private jeweller St-Amram

 

F: I can see in your eyes how emotional diamonds are to you. I can tell that you bring a lot of extra sparkle to your diamonds and to your work.

Your story as a private jeweller is something that I would like to share with our audience.You started in the diamond trade where you learned everything about the diamond industry. You then started to express your respect for the art that is jewellery making by working towards understanding your customer’s personality and designing pieces that correspond with the individual and communicate this in the most subtle ways. 

Whenever we talk, I am always impressed by how proud you are of our profession and our industry. 

M: I think that when you work, you want to know that your actions are provoking a force for the good. We are energy and I believe diamonds are energy too and they give it as well. I have to say that my path was not easy and always sparkly. While growing up, I thought that people were caring for and protecting one another with a focus on the long term outcomes. Unfortunately this is not always the reality we live in and I learnt it the hard way. The experiences I went through helped me choose the way I work and the people I want to work with while keeping a network and partners that are beautiful inside and making sure that my actions are creating positive impacts on the lives of others. I had to learn how to think in the medium as well as the long run.

With diamonds, one can discover the possibility to enjoy their stones, wear them everyday and feel confident that the investment is going to increase in value over time, I cannot think of anything better!

Yellow diamond ring by Michal Amram

 

F: What are the most important questions you ask your clients when buying a diamond? 

M: Cooperation is key and I love to brainstorm together with my customers. We always focus on understanding who they are and what is most important to them or their loved ones. From here I know where to start. Personality is my main focus, and the more I understand them, the more I can bring joy to their life. My pieces reflect the person, the couple, the story.

I think about the diamonds, the design and the manufacturing as well. I love to create emotions with the perfect diamonds and meticulous artworks that mirror unforgettable moments and the strength of love. I love to see the “wow” factor and happiness in people’s eyes. This is what moves me forward. Creating a piece that provokes emotions is always my primary aim.

 

F: I have to say that you do bring happiness to a lot of people’s lives, your design style is truly different and recognizable! Last question: If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere that could say anything, what would your message be? 

M: My message would be: Create emotions and celebrate moments with passion.“Forever mine, forever yours, forever ours like a diamond!” as Ludwig van Beethoven wrote and Sex and the City repeated!

 

Check out www.st-amram.com to see Michal’s fine jewellery creations.

Franka’s Sparklers
www.frankassparklers.com
Bespoke diamonds and jewellery Paris-London-Milan
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