Alicia Oltuski’s presentation was entertaining and illuminating, it offered an insider’s look at the history, business, and society behind the world’s most coveted natural resource, providing an unforgettable introduction to the New York Diamond District.
From New York and the international diamond world via her Grandfather and Father’s old school diamond district dealings, Alicia shared a common passion for jewelry and precious objects.
The diamond business provided a patterned background for what started as a memoir for Alicia’s Father. Alicia took us on a journey as she began working with her father, in order to collect research for her book. From her first day, passing through 3 doors, each one more secure than the last, in order to enter her fathers domain. Alicia’s first journey down Forty-Seventh Street with a chest pack full of jewelry, picking up and dropping off items for her father.
Old School Dealers are secretive and have a personal connection to both the other diamond dealers and the stones they trade. Secrecy and precautions are necessary when you carry your stock in trade on your person from place to place. Diamonds that were often loaned on consignment to jewelers and other dealers. No money changing hands until the stone was sold or returned un-sold. This requires a level of trust and knowledge of the people you are dealing with that is missing on the internet.
Chronicling the birth of the diamond trade with De Beers “A Diamond is for ever!”, the NY Diamond Dealers Club, the Rapaport Diamond Report, Blood Diamonds and Fair Trade Diamonds, along with family history of her Grandfather and Father in the industry. These stories and more are fully exposed in Alicia’s book “Precious Objects”.
The book is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Alicia Oltuski’s
work has appeared or is forthcoming on NPR’s Berlin Stories, in the Financial Times,
W Magazine, The Faster Times, The Bulletin in Philadelphia, and other publications.
Visit Alicia Oltuski’s website at www.aliciaoltuski.com
While men are prominent in the Diamond Dealing portion of the industry (think loose stones), Women are present in retail, design and office as they appear more interested in the finished jewelry, rather than the loose stones.
DCGIA Thanks Alicia for sharing with us and with the rest of the world our Passion for Precious Objects!
Summary & Photos by Charlie Marts