Our peace-loving leader

As you can probably tell from the embedded message on the homepage, our fearless leader is a nut.

A nut about peace. He'd rather make a friend than a deal (although he keeps telling us that making friends is what it's all about). "It's all about relationships" he says. "Don't focus on making a sale, focus on establishing a relationship. The sales will follow, and if you're lucky you will have made a friend".

There's an old Russian saying (he's married to a vivacious and irrepressible Russian, so we're always hearing these 'old Russian sayings') "better a thousand friends than a thousand dollars (rubles)".

East meets West, Richard and Larisa.
That describes our leader's business philosophy in a nutshell. While we're all breaking our backs trying to do business, he just lazily spends his day conversing, breaking bread, sipping coffee or drinking wine with friends from all over the world. If a friend isn't around, he'll often wave in a complete stranger that happens to be walking by the entrance to our salon !

We haven't quite figured it out yet, but somehow this unconventional business philosophy of his works! There's seldom a day goes by that some friend he made somewhere in the world doesn't happen to drop in or call in for a diamond. Red, white, black, brown or yellow… American, European, Russian, Chinese, or Eskimo… Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist or Scientologist… it doesn't seem to matter. He sees only one color, creed or culture… that of the brotherhood of man.

One of his favorite stories (he's always telling stories) is about the Christmas Eve incident of World War I where soldiers who had been killing each other for months (under orders) came out of their trenches on Christmas Eve, sharing drinks with their "enemy", showing pictures of their loved ones and discussing common desires.

In the following days these soldiers could no longer fight each other! They had come to know their "enemy" as a fellow human being with a common desire for peace, and all the fight left them. Even orders from their generals couldn't move them, and they had to be disbanded under threats of treason and shipped to different fronts, with a new shipment of soldiers brought in to replace them before fighting resumed…

Richard relates that story often as he points out that most discord and strife between "enemies" disappears once they get to know each other personally as human beings.

So, if you ask Richard if he is in the diamond business, you're likely to hear him say:

"No, I'm in the peace business. I make friends for a living. Diamonds I do for fun."

Richard with Yeva Tsiperovich, Azerbaijan representative and Jekaterina Selakova, Latvian representative.