This has been quite a year, with plenty to talk about. And so, we collected some of the best, most interesting, most insightful, most revealing—and funniest—jewelry-related quotes of 2020.

“Take [COVID] seriously. Put people before business. Business will come back. People don’t come back.”
—Designer Roberto Coin, when Italy first struggled to contain the virus in March

“It’s like with the old videocassettes, you would press fast-forward, and you didn’t know where it would stop. But you just knew it would be far ahead of where you were. When the world gets out of this [pandemic], we will be in a different place.”
—David Prager, De Beers’ executive vice president and chief brand officer, on the new world

“My generation and the generation before me, whenever they talk about the diamond industry, they always like to talk about the good old days and when we made money. It’s all historical perspective. It’s a bit boring and tiresome to keep regurgitating.”
—Rami Baron, founder of Young Diamantaires

“As [Argyle diamond mine’s last production] continues its journey down through the crusher, up the conveyors, out into daylight and up through process, it carries with it many years of hard work, determination, and a great deal of satisfaction.”
—An Argyle mine employee on Facebook

“You ask most people that have a diamond and they’ll have a story that comes with it, whether it’s about a relationship with another person or personal achievement or a family member. That is unique. You don’t get that with any other product. Nobody looks at a handbag that way.”
—Natural Diamond Council CEO David Kellie

“I am always sorry when I see a report being used as the only tool when selling a gem. Gems are not repeatable widgets; they are all unique and special. Sales should be tied to the uniqueness and beauty of a gemstone rather than to a piece of paper and a picture that rarely represents it correctly. We’re talking about love here! If you love a gem, you will be able to sell it.”
—Robert Weldon, GIA’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center director, to Asia Lounges

“Each piece represents something important to me, a good memory, or a gift from somebody, or it reminds me of my mother or my aunt, or picking the bangle up in a destination that’s memorable or hunting it down in a flea market. When I’m stacking bangles I’m stacking stories and memories. The bangles have a life of their own. They have soul.”
—Editor and stylist Kate Moodie, to the New York Times

“When you buy jewelry for yourself, it’s to reflect who you are. And women are asking for more powerful things.”
—Melanie Grant, author of Coveted, to the New York Times

“My friends don’t self-gift—they just complain about what their husbands buy for them.”
—Baker and female jewelry self-purchaser Louise Moody to

“I hear too many conversations in the jewelry industry that people aren’t having enough fun. And that’s on us. It’s not anybody else’s job to make it fun for us. It’s our job to make it fun for us.”
—Industry consultant Andrea Hill

“Jewelers are similar to surgeons and priests in that we deal with everybody—the good and the bad, they all come to us sooner or later.”
—Kedem Deletis, owner of 47th Diamond District Corp., to New York magazine

“One of my favorite things to do when I’ve talked to groups, [I ask] what they think the e-commerce numbers are that make up the total amount of annual sales. If you say 50%, you get some hands. You say 40%, you get more. You say 30%, even more, and 25% is just about everybody. I think everybody is really shocked when they learn that in fact e-commerce accounts for only 12% of annual retail sales.”
—Bill Thorne, senior vice president of communications and public affairs for the National Retail Federation

“Due diligence is a responsibility of conduct, not a responsibility of outcome. You are not providing guarantees. You are making good-faith efforts to implement these standards with a view toward progressive improvement.”
—Tyler Gillard, head of sector projects and legal adviser for the OECD’s Responsible Business Conduct unit, on gold sourcing