WISDOM IS A BITTERSWEET DELIGHT, DEEPENED BY THE VERY DISCORDS THAT ENTER INTO ITS HARMONY
- Pirkei Avos
My name is Louis Pearl G.G. I am a rough diamond gemologist working mostly in Africa. I have worked in most of the diamond bearing countries in Africa and In Brazil. I am fortunate because I love what I do, enjoying the adventures, dangers, and challenges of working in places most people don’t want to go to, and doing what most people cannot do. I started my website in order to promote my business and to write articles helpful to those who wish to do this business safely and successfully.
My business brings me into contact with people of many races, cultures, religions and social levels. Sometimes I am dealing with high level politicians and military, sometimes with extremely wealthy bankers and hedge fund managers, diamond cutters, miners, brokers, jokers, criminals and low life scum. Often it is difficult to separate the low life from the others. Low life scum also come from diverse backgrounds. Some are politicians, military, wealthy bankers, hedge fund managers, etc.
Africans sellers complain buyers are not honest and often cannot pay for the goods they have contracted. They complain of buyers using leased financial instruments and not actually having the money themselves to close a deal. They also complain of buyers hammering them on the price when they bring the diamonds to the "TTM" (Table Top Meeting). They say the buyer has agreed on a price and then refuse to pay the price after they examine the stones even though the stones match the manifest.
Further, they complain, diamond buyers don’t want to travel to Africa to pick out the stones, and if they do travel to Africa, they do not want to pay for the goods in Africa. They also do not want to pay the taxes to the governments in Africa. They want to pay for the goods and the taxes when the diamonds land in their chosen destination. Africans consider these people fools for thinking they can do business this way. They ask; “Why don’t the buyers come to Africa, set up a business, get the proper buying license, open proper African bank accounts, contact legitimate exporters and shippers and have done with it. In this way, they can buy all the gold and diamonds they want.”
From one point of view, they are correct. If you are a buyer, and you do all these things, you will have an easier time of it and will have a greater chance at success. This is the African side of the equation.
The buyers say “Why don’t the sellers just come to Geneva, New York or Dubai, etc. and sell the diamonds at a TTM in a safe location, with banks you can trust, with shippers you can trust and with governments you can trust. The hotels are better, the cities safer cleaner, and transportation, telephone, electricity and internet are not issues. Buyers think Africans are fools for thinking buyers are going to risk their lives, money and health to go to Africa to do business.
From one point of view, they are correct. If you are a seller, and you do all these things, you will have an easier time of it and will have a greater chance at success. This is the buyer side of the equation.
Both sides have legitimate concerns and complaints. What is the answer to close the divide between the two? I am sorry to say, there is no solution. Thank you for reading my article, have a good day!
Not happy with that answer? You may not be happy with my solutions either. However, there are solutions. The problems with the solutions are they cost money to implement. There I have said it. It will cost you money. I see buyers and sellers running for the hills. How dare I say it will cost money to overcome the inherent problems of buying rough diamonds! I must be insane to suggest such abhorrent solutions. You want a solution that costs the other guy money. Not a solution that will cost you money. I don’t blame you. I have wasted good money trying to do this business. I have been with customers who wasted their money too; some were buyers and some sellers. No one wants to throw away hard earned cash.
Still, if you want to do this business as a business and not work on hope and the occasional spot buy, you will have to spend some money to set it up properly. It does not matter if you are the buyer or the seller, because you cannot set up your business without costs.
For most business people, it is not the fear of spending money to be successful that stops them. It is the fear of spending time and money and failing. Of course you should be afraid, and of course you can fail. That is why having your own business is a risk; you can lose your money and you can fail. The question is not if you can eliminate all risks, because that is not possible. The question is can you eliminate every possible risk that can be eliminated?
The answer to that question is yes. You just have to have the right connections, the right experience, and you had better not be to cheap, to lazy or trust the wrong people. In other words, you can trust every one 100%, but you better damn well verify everything you are told. Expect to be lied too often and repeatedly, and have back up sellers if you are the buyer and back up buyers if you are the seller.
If you do not have the right connections, experience and all the rest, take your money and get the hell out of this business. You have no place here. That, or hire a rough diamond gemologist who does have the connections, experience and expertise to protect you, and who can help make you successful and will cover your . . . !
Louis Pearl G.G.
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