An Interview with “Diamond Wizard” Maarten de Witte: Part 1
Maarten de Witte is one of the world’s premiere diamond experts. In this interview, he discusses how he got into the trade.
2 Minute Read
A Dying Industry?
Despite his Dutch name, de Witte doesn’t come from any diamond dynasty. In fact, the few members of his family who were in the business as diamond setters told him that it was a dying industry and to “steer clear.”
“They flat out told me, ‘you don’t wanna do this,’ and I was incredibly disappointed.”
So, after visiting that family in the Netherlands in 1970, de Witte made a stop in London before heading home. He made a special trip to see the crown jewels. “I stood in front of the Cullinan Diamond and was just mesmerized,” de Witte told us.
It wasn’t just sparkly. It had these beams of colored light coming out of it. And I thought that maybe my family keeping me out of the business was a blessing in disguise because I realized what I really wanted to do was cut diamonds. I’d worked as a sculptor’s apprentice when I was 16, and that felt like my calling.
However, he kept encountering shut doors. “I tried to learn to cut, but people just told me to get lost — I wasn’t family....
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