David Gotlib

Diamonds: The Most Influential People Of the Decade.

Diamonds Standards Organization honors the commitment of the professionals around the world whose outstanding work in the last decade contributed to create ethical awareness in the diamond and jewellery sectors and helped promote the entire industry.

David Gotlib is the Vice President of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse and he ran the family diamond business I.D.R.P. for over 20 years trading in both rough and polished stones with their main office in Antwerp. Eponymous of the brand, David Gotlib, CEO and designer of the cufflinks focused jewellery company, oversees the whole process from the first sketches to the delivery of the pieces. Mr Gotlib received the Honorary Membership.

Why is ethical sourcing important in a modern society?

Nothing good comes from trading conflict diamonds. It affects not only your own name but also the diamond industry’s name and harms countless people and communities. The Kimberly Process guarantees us that our suppliers use clean sources whilst improving the economy and life quality in the diamond-mining countries. It is a great initiative and probably one of the biggest impact on diamond trading in the last decade.

Why informing customers that their purchase conforms to ethical standards has become a necessity?
Nowadays more and more customers want to be able to shop with a clear conscience. They are increasingly aware of the change they can generate by buying for example fair-trade, organic, ethical or sustainable products. This trend extends to the diamond business. By knowing the origin of a diamond, customers are assured that it was retrieved and traded according to the regulations of the industry. This guarantees them that they are notparticipating in any dishonest or harmful processes. Especially with the infamous history of conflict diamonds, this is a crucial factor when buying diamonds.

What is your background?
As a third-generation diamond trader, I was born and raised in the diamond community of Antwerp. I’ve watched and learned from my grand-father and father who were both and my father still is, respected diamond traders. They taught me all there is to know about this fascinating field. Although before joining the family business, I studied Finance and even had a brief career in banking. Soon enough I realized, the diamond industry was were my real interests lay. As much as I was passionate about diamonds, I missed some creativity in my career. I wanted to use the knowledge I had of diamonds in combining them with my creative side. One day I received from my grandmother a beautiful pair of golden cufflinks that belonged to my grandfather and there it was, I knew where I wanted to go. I started designing cufflinks with diamonds and gold. The cufflinks combine my passion for beautiful things, diamonds and entrepreneurship.

What is your area of focus?
Our company trades in rough and polished diamonds. In rough we are buyers of run of mine goods starting from the industrial size going to 5 carats in all the different qualities. We assort the goods to supply our customers need and of course for our own production. In polished diamonds , we specialize in 0.3crt to 10 crt mainly certified goods.

“The diamond industry […] remains one big family. In order to grow in the future it is upon this family to all work in the same direction,,

How would you describe the last ten years?
I believe one of the biggest successes of the past decade is the growing transparency between traders mutually and with clients. Diamond trading used to be known as secretive and mysterious. Due to the enhanced regulations, the more socially conscious customers, the digital age etc. the industry has become more transparent for his own good. But this also generated an important challenge. Namely, offering a continuous and steady supply to our customers whilst guaranteeing the quality, ethical standards and traceability of the diamonds.

“ customers want to be able to shop with a clear conscience ,,

What can we expect in the next decade?
I think that all of the different players in the industry (mining companies, traders, governments etc.) will increasingly be even more obliged to act as an entity to face the challenges that will rise the next couple of years. They will have to team up to answer coherently and effectively to future issues by for example providing up-to-date consumer education or strong marketing. The diamond industry, with its different locations and nationalities remain one big family. In order to grow in the future it is upon this family to all work in the same direction.

On a more personal note, what is your favourite shape?
My favourite shape is round brilliant because this is an all-time classic, timeless and everlasting.

What is your favourite diamond color?
Definitely white diamonds as they reflect light the best way and are therefore my favourite.

What is your favourite gemstone?
My favourite gemstones are sapphires. Blue reminds me of images like the sky, the sea and infinity.

What is your favourite jewllery brand and why?
I have to say my own brand of cufflinks ‘David Gotlib’ is without a doubt my favourite. [..] Beside my own brand, I think Van Cleef & Arpels do an outstanding job of sticking to their authenticity throughout the years.

What is your favourite watch brand and what model most attracts you?
I love Audemars Piguet: beautiful, revolutionary and with an extra touch of class.