Rapaport talked with Maxim Shkadov, General Director of Russia’s number one polished manufacturer, Kristall Smolensk, Chairman of the Association of Diamond Manufacturers of Russia (ADMR) and two-time President of the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA), about many of the crucial issues facing the diamond industry today. Shkadov covers everything from the nature of diamonds and their manufacturing, the relationships between market players, the need for a regulatory mechanism, the need for promotion via a generic marketing campaign, synthetic diamonds, the sightholder system, demand for specific sizes and shapes of diamonds, the impact of sanctions against Russia on financing and potential developments of the Russian diamond industry itself - all from the perspective of his mission to ensure that the diamond industry has a future, globally and in Russia. Some key points:
"[Everyone] seems to have forgotten that the market needs to be constantly regulated. One thing to do in the current situation is to bring down the volume of rough on offer. It far exceeds the capacities of the market to consume it at the current prices and the only way to regulate it is to put the brake on supply."
"[De Beers had a monopoly for 50 years]. But now the situation is completely different. There are the interests of rough producers, there are the interests of banks and there is the real market, which is the market of polished diamonds and diamond jewelry. And yet these three components are out of sync, which is why the market has become open for such things as artificially grown diamonds... Therefore unrolling a generic marketing campaign for natural diamonds is crucial at this stage — before it’s too late."