A diamond is not only a woman’s best friend, but also a great investment for people who want to invest their capital in a unique way – which we talk about with, among others, Marcin Marcok, the owner of MART DIAMONDS.
Interview for HUGE magazine 1/2019. Autohor: Ireneusz Różański
Is an investment diamond the same diamond we see in jewelry – or are there differences between them?
A few years ago it was accepted that an investment diamond is a stone above one carat and of good quality. Today, I would say that it’s hard to say what an investment diamond is, because every diamond you buy is a type of investment. However, it should be remembered that diamonds are not only a solid way to secure capital, but also a personal investment – I say this after having had many conversations with clients. According to them, possessing diamonds gives them a different perspective at looking at themselves.
What is the first time like when a customer comes to your company?
An investment in diamonds is supported by a short interview. I need to find out what goal the person wishes to achieve before making such an investment. Do they want to secure their funds or make spectacular gains? In case of the second option, it is obvious that the amount intended for the purchase must also be spectacular.
Does that mean that buying diamonds is a rather well-thought-out decision instead of an impulsive purchase of someone with sufficient resources?
After all, it’s almost always an impulse, because diamonds are beautiful and you can’t remain indifferent upon seeing them. There are customers who try to approach this mathematically, but later such an analytical attitude towards the stone changes. One of our clients is so attached to his investment that it goes with him everywhere. He even sent me a photo from an exotic beach of his 2-carat diamond with the caption “Me and my diamond”.
Is there a certain definition of a perfect diamond?
I once texted my wife that when I find the perfect diamond I will buy it for her, so that my wife will know about it first. Others will see it later. However, it is worth emphasizing that you cannot find two identical diamonds, which makes each of them perfect in their own individual way. Of course, it is considered that the most beautiful ones are those having the most beautiful color and the best purity, but sometimes an inclusion hidden in a stone causes you to be more delighted with a diamond with a flaw rather than the one considered perfect. I have been looking for several years for a stone in which an inclusion would be visible to the naked eye. It would be best if it were deep blue with a shade of pink; it would be perfect if the surface were deep blue – as that is how I imagined it. If I do not find such a stone, I will cut an existing stone and put a pink diamond in it and make it a doublet, which is not normally done. I dream of such a stone with a unique suspension inside. However, you have to consider, I am not completely normal when it comes to diamonds and I look at them differently and try to see each one as unique
So how many years do you have to operate in this business to be considered reliable, or is it a matter of talent?
I am too young (laughs). You learn about diamonds all your life. Humility is also important because whenever you think you already know something about diamonds they teach you a lesson. Once I bought a stone from a client and did not spend too much time looking at it – everything seemed to be fine. In the evening at home, I had more time to analyze the stone. When I took it with tweezers and looked at it closely, I saw an inclusion on the surface that I had not noticed before. This stone remained with us, I set it in a necklace that my wife sometimes wears. It always reminds me that working with diamonds should not be treated carelessly – stones need to be given attention and sufficient time.
What is the minimum amount needed to start investing in diamonds?
A sensible amount that allows you to invest in valuable stones is around $10,000, but we realize that not everyone can afford such an expense. So we propose a solution that we call a “piggy bank system”, based on the client buying cheaper stones – such as those for about $1,500. When they collect ten of these, we exchange the collection for one stone worth $15,000. And the investor becomes the owner of something special – a single-carat diamond.
You’ve been running this business for 25 years. What is the difference between MART DIAMONDS and your competition?
It’s about the trust that you build over the years and about being able to tell the customer everything about a certain diamond. The important thing is also not to make it sound better than it is – we tell the whole truth about a stone, which can be verified very quickly. Thanks to trust built in this way, our customers come back to us and we can say that every ten minutes, somewhere in the world, we sell one diamond of a very good quality.
Is diamonds’ origin a very important issue in this business?
Yes. The stone’s legal origin is what counts the most. Of course, the mine’s reputation is also important. For example, pink diamonds from Argyle in Australia enjoy the highest estimates in the industry. But perhaps in Sierra Leone we may find a beautiful pink stone – just as beautiful as the one from Australia. A lot depends on the brand and size of the company. The Australians from Argyle have done a lot in marketing and have been harvesting it for years.
We cannot, however, escape the material value of diamonds. Can Poles afford expensive stones?
Recently, we were able to sell a $9.5 million stone – it was a 43 carat D/FL diamond with a perfect cut.
Why did you choose diamonds and not, for example, oil?
I’ve always wanted to have the best, and there is nothing better than diamonds. It’s great to have oil tankers and send them all over the world, but I prefer to look at diamonds and enjoy their beauty.
Has anything changed in this business over the past 25 years? Were there any milestones in the industry?
The 2008 crisis has changed a lot in the way diamonds are looked at. We have worked for many, many years, and although Europe is a smaller player than the US or China, we are a company that is respected worldwide. We are the only member of the FCRF (The Fancy Color Research Foundation) in this part of Europe and we appreciate that we have been invited to participate in their program that cares about the transparency in this industry. We are also mentioned by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) as a recommended company. Such activities, which just a few years ago were of little importance in Poland, are appreciated today, as they determine brand’s strength.
Does your reputation, which knowledgeable clients pay attention to, also translate into other aspects of business?
Every year, the Australian Argyle pink diamond mine selects several dozen of its most valuable stones and allocates them for a kind of tender, to which about a dozen companies from around the world are invited. Th Australians display their diamonds, those interested look at them and then everyone submits their offer in sealed envelopes. This year, 63 diamonds were put up for sale, and each came with its own book – a kind of stone pedigree. And it so happens that MART DIAMONDS was among the companies invited for this tender. We looked at the stones and made our offers – we were able to buy 4 diamonds. I consider the successful participation in such an industry tender as proof that investing in my brand pays off.
And what will happen to this industry when all the diamonds have been extracted?
We do not know yet when exactly such a moment will come, but it is inevitable. The Australian Argyle mine forecasts that the deposits will be exhausted in 2-3 years. We will watch how the market reacts and we will be ready for any eventuality.