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At William Goldberg, Diamonds Are a Family Legacy

Many firms in Manhattan's Diamond District have been passed down from parent to child and some date back four generations. But mom-and-pop jewelry operations have dwindled as major brands like Cartier, De Beers and Van Cleef & Arpels dominate the...

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"We're a jewelry house, we're no longer a diamond house," Berg said.

Within three years, the company intends to only supply jewelry and loose stones above 10 carats.

"This movement has been in the works for 20 years," Saul Goldberg said. "People would approach us at the Basel show and say 'We can't put loose diamonds around our necks.' Our history in stones translates into fantastic jewelry."

William Goldberg's clients come from around the world and are predominantly international. Russia, China, the Middle East, India and Europe are its most important markets in order of importance.

To help build the brand name, the company has employed a number of strategies. A luxurious upstairs selling salon is being established on East 48th Street, where clients may come on an appointment basis. There are also plans to open a traditional storefront in the Ginza district in Tokyo and other markets.

In 2006, the company tapped Lauren Bergman as its creative director. Bergman previously worked for the now defunct Vivid Collection. Styles range from elaborate mixed-cut diamond chandelier earrings to intricate bracelets with prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The company also has done one-off partnerships with designers. In 2005, William Goldberg tapped Narciso Rodriguez to design a bracelet featuring Goldberg's proprietary Ashoka diamond cut. Last year, it collaborated with L'Wren Scott on a pair of rough diamond cuffs that Nicole Kidman wore to the Academy Awards.

"My father always said that no matter what we make, quality is the most important thing," Eve Goldberg said.

Saul Goldberg recalled another motto his father lived by and that he has adopted: "As long as you can afford them, buy as many diamonds as you can."
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