AN INTERVIEW WITH RAPAPORT, THE DIAMOND MAVERICK – by Coleby Nicholson (Jeweller Magazine – December 01, 2017)

Martin Rapaport is never short of words when it comes to diamonds. Coleby Nicholson met with the industry nonconformist to discuss the current state of the international diamond market.
Martin Rapaport: most people in the industry will know the name, or at least recognise the face and signature bow tie.

The founder and chairman of Rapaport Group, which publishes Rapaport magazine and operates online trading platform RapNet among other products and services, began his career in the diamond industry in 1975 as an apprentice diamond cleaver in Antwerp.

His Wikipedia page notes that he has been called a ‘maverick’ within the diamond industry and probably rightly so. I met with Rapaport in July to discuss the state of the industry and his often counter-intuitive and controversial stances on various industry issues.

At the time, he is quick to say that the diamond industry is in a period of large “transition”. “Overall the diamond industry has settled, it’s not expanding,” he says. “You could say the pie is shrinking and people are fighting over the little pieces of the pie.”

Rapaport explains there are several reasons for this, first of which is the fact that the boom in China quieted down a few years ago.

“In addition, the US market has become more picky,” he continues. “Europe is gone, and with the oil price the UAE is gone – when I say ‘gone’, I mean that these markets are not a driving force in diamond demand.”

Rapaport also notes that there is some concern that recent rough sales, to the tune of about US$1.8 billion, are entering the Indian market.

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