In 1979 Sylvain Goldberg establishes Sygma Diamonds
In 1970 Sylvain Goldberg becomes a full fledged member of the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, the oldest and most important diamond trading establishment in the city of Antwerp. Almost a decade later, in 1979, he establishes a new company called Sygma Diamonds. He does this together with his sister Gisele Goldberg and his cousin Marcel Knoll. Differently from Orion Diamond Company this business is orientated entirely towards the polished diamond trade. Immediately Sylvain specializes in serving the extremely demanding Japanese market. This market has a strong preference for diamonds with a very high brightness. In order to achieve this luster, Sygma Diamonds employs over 100 local polishers who are all mainly focused on what is called the ‘ideal make’ or ‘ideal cut’.
What is this ‘ideal make’?
A short word on this, not to bore you with technicalities, but in order to point out an important trait of Sylvain’s personality as expressed through this strategic business choice. The cut doesn’t refer to a diamond’s shape (e.g. round, oval, pear, etc.) but to it’s proportions, symmetry and it’s polish. The beauty of a diamond depends more on cut than on any other factor. Diamond cut has three primary effects on appearance: brilliance (the brightness created by the combination of all the white light reflections from the surface and the inside of a polished diamond), fire (the dispersion of light into the colors of the visible spectrum, seen as flashes of color), and scintillation (the flashes of light and dark, or sparkle, when a diamond or light source is moved). An ideal cut diamond is proportioned in such a way that nearly all the light that enters the diamond gets returned to the viewer’s eye. A seemingly minute change in any of the crucial parameters will diminish it. Obtaining this ‘ideal cut’ means sacrificing a proportion of the diamond’s weight. When a polisher aims for the ‘ideal make’ the weight of the resulting polished diamond will be lower than the maximally possible weight one could have obtained from the same rough diamond. In order to obtain the ‘ideal cut’ stones, so beloved by the Japanese customers, one always needs to cede some weight. This striving for perfection and a willingness to commit to sacrifices is a quintessential feature of Sylvain’s personality. Read the page about his karate experience and you’ll realize this is a trait that we find time and again throughout different facets of his work and of his private life.