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An Interview with “Diamond Wizard” Maarten de Witte: Part 2

“Diamond Wizard” Maarten de Witte faced many obstacles getting into the diamond trade. In this interview, he explains how he earned his name.

3 Minute Read

HomeLearning CenterJewelry and LapidaryResources for the Professional LapidaryAn Interview with “Diamond Wizard” Maarten de Witte: Part 2
diamond wizard lair
The lair of the Diamond Wizard. Photo by Maarten de Witte. Used with permission.

A New Approach

“So, I decided to take a whole new approach,” de Witte smirked.

I’d walk into their stores and tell them I realized they probably already had a cutter, but they probably also had a little vial on their workbench filled with broken stones. Their cutter just wouldn’t mess with them because they were too small and a pain to cut. I offered to cut them to show them what I could do. Soon, people caught on that I actually knew what I was doing.

Step by step, de Witte eventually turned that small business into a bigger one, cutting diamonds all around central Illinois. However, it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet. So de Witte went back to school, studying African History to get more perspective on the diamond industry there. Eventually, he finished his Masters in Economic and Mineral Geography, writing his thesis on diamonds and development in Botswana.

Nevertheless, he was still stuck between a rock and a hard place when finding work. So, de Witte started sending out hundreds of job applications, hoping that something would jell.

In Chicago,

Cate Misczuk

Cate Misczuk is a jewelry and watch writer who covers everything from the latest jewelry trends and the heritage of watchmaking to 24k gold, gems, sustainability, unisex timepieces and more. Get in touch at catemisczuk.com.

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