I had the amazing chance to sit down and exchange a couple of thoughts with one of the most talented and genuine Jewellers and Business man in London, Lewis Malka, the Diamond Guru.
Please find an extract of our conversation below.
In your blog you mention that your child dream job wasn’t been a jeweller. May I ask you what your child dream work was?
As a young boy, I just wanted to be a fireman. I remember going to a school trip to a fire station, and those fireman looked like Batman to me, going down their poles to save people. So, yep, I wanted to be a fireman!
Would you like to tell us a bit how is your usual day?
Most of the times, my day starts with networking events, and then I go down to the workshop and I start to be the creative person who actually make the jewellery for my clients, using row materials like platinum and diamonds. And if I have one or two appointments on that day, I see the client in the diamond bourse, we go through same stones, through design, make the deal and then, make the jewellery! Yeas, so my days are a 50 and 50 between seeing the clients and actually making the jewellery.
You mention that the diamonds you source are not involved in war conflict funding. Are those diamonds harder to source?
Not really. Today to find one of those “blood diamonds” you really have to struggle! All the diamonds miners, diamonds brokers and traders, are certified under the Kimberly Process, which since 2003, eradicated all the blood diamonds from the trading. So do not worry, no blood diamonds on the market anymore.
Did you ever had to give a diamond ring? which one did you pick and why?
Yes, to my ex wife! Next question?!
What is the most expensive diamond you had the chance to work on till now?
I had the chance to work on a 14 karats diamond, which had a nice pear shape and that was at trade price of 732000 dollars. But the most expensive diamond I made the jewellery for, was an engagement ring with a diamond just under the 400000 thousands pounds.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery of all times?
My favourite is a pear shape diamond, that I think gives the right proportion, it is not too long a slim and not too short and stubby. I think they got a beautiful lustre about them and the shape.
So if you would have to choose a diamond, which would you suggest?
Well, same thing good about the pear shape is that they look a little bigger of what they actually are! They loose a lot of their actual weight to the end but you still get the volume. If you are looking for a stone that is actually larger then what is it, look for a pear shape diamond.
What helped you to stick to your career, once you started your own business?
Well it easy to say passion, lots of people throw that word around now, it is a trendy word to use. But coming through the trade as an apprentice, learning my skills and making bespoke elegant pieces, well, I really never wanted to stop to do that.
What helped you to get through the hard times?
It is the definitively the customer attention that you give. I mean anyone can sit there taking an order for engagement ring and knock something up, but I actually understand what the client does for living, what is his life style like, and I manage to incorporate that into the design. I think it is important to actually mould yourself into the client and to keep the client in front of you, in your mind, at all time when I am creating for them.
Any suggestion for new business man/women?
It is all about listening. Believe what you are doing and seek the right advice! I think we often fall into the trap, of not realising what is behind a business: you don’t have to be just the creative person, you have to make the marketing, you got to be the accountant, and talk to land lord too. You got to be all those things! So get the right help straight at the beginning and things will go much easier!
We live in time of change: Brexit and synthetical diamonds. What is your vision for your brand in the next 5 years?
Well for me, Brexit made the things a bit difficult because the price of diamonds has gone up. We are talking about the 20-30% more.
But my vision for my brand in the next 5 years is to keep on growing organically. Keep on doing well what we are doing well. There are lots of people that came into the trade that you won’t see the following year, and it is all about reputation. I will always make sure that the quality of our work will always be at the the top to guarantee that my brand will grow above everyone else.
How does it feels to be the youngest member of London Diamond bourse?
It is technically Board Member of the London Diamond Bourse. It is privilege, it is a voluntary role. I didn’t thing I would get involved when I joined the Diamond Bourse in 2003, but I am of those people that when I get involved with something, I want to be involved from within, not just become a member of.
What do you enjoy the most?
To be involved and to have say on the future on the diamond industry, it definitely pay off. There is so much to be done: we need more young people to join the bourse; we need to encourage more trade within the UK. Being a younger member, helps the older member to see the prospective of the future through a younger pair of eyes.
You have been holding in your hands hundreds of meant-to-be promises of eternal love, do you believe that the present social changes will affect your work at any point?
I am a romantic guy, I do believe in marriage, I do believe in love and eternal love, I see a lot of couple on a weekly basis and I can tell, I can often tell, that same ones are going to fall apart, but most of them, I can see that they will stay together forever.
You never share your point of you about it, do you?
No till the paid the invoice! It is amazing to see same ladies reaction, when they get their engagement ring. They think it should be bigger, it should be more! But what is the point on spending so much on a ring, when the it is just a point of start of a lifelong together?
However, a recent publication shows that marriages are going up! And I am for up it! Get married and build that family up!
Yeas we can definitely see that you are up for family! Your book really show it!
Keep up with your excellent work, Lewis! Thanks for your time and all the best for your brand!
You can find more by Lewis Malka at www.lewismalka.com.