Rolf Zibung’s fascination for the king of precious stones began when he first came into contact with diamonds during his commercial apprenticeship in the 80’s. He completed his gemmological training in Idar-Oberstein. He was the chief diamond purchaser for the largest jeweller in Switzerland, which also has sales outlets in Germany, Austria and France, for over 13 years from 2003 to 2015. During this time he built up a strong and trusted network with diamond companies with contacts in New York, Antwerp, Tel Aviv/Ramat Gan, Mumbai/Surat and Hong Kong.
Rolf Zibung is a member of the Diamond Club of Antwerp.
Rolf Zibung came into contact with the world of precious stones by chance (or was it destiny?). He had his apprenticeship in his pocket as one of the first in his class (I believe I was the first). Five months later the company went bankrupt and the search for a commercial apprenticeship place started all over again. And this at a very unfortunate time as most places had already been taken up. But still, only most of them, but not all of them.
So it came about that he completed his commercial apprenticeship in Luzern at a famous Swiss jeweller in the heart of Switzerland. And although he was employed in the accounts department of this jeweller, the sparkling stone soon took hold of him. 15 years later he completed his gemmological education in Idar-Oberstein. At this time he was responsible for the jewellery evaluation of his employer (his original apprenticeship company).
Why do diamonds fascinate me? This question is really not very easy to answer. How do you put into words what happens when you hold a diamond in your hand?
Firstly there is the pure rarity. Ok, when you amble through the pavilions at the fairs in Hong Kong or Basel, it does look like that. Diamonds are rare? The current yearly production (2014) of around 30 active diamond mines in the world is around 130 million carats. Out of which around one quarter goes to industry and the rest to the jewellery trade. If you consider the loss when polishing is around 60 %, you can imagine what is left over, particularly among the 130 million carats extracted there are many piqued and many yellowish and brownish diamonds. A mine operator recently said that one can reckon on one million carats from an exceptional trove (e.g. one white stone above 100 carats or one blue diamond). You can calculate how many extraordinary diamonds are extracted each year. Yes, diamonds are indeed rare (but we don’t want to go into the definition of beauty at this stage).
Many years ago I was reading on the banks of the Lake of Geneva. It was autumn and I was enjoying the warmth of the last rays of sunshine. Suddenly I noticed a dappled play of colours that moved backwards and forwards on the left-hand side of the book. Was someone playing a joke on me? No it was the sunlight which was fragmented through the colour spectrum of my diamond. And how! This broad diversification of white light (dispersion) is fantastic. And then the brilliance. Especially with coloured diamonds this never ceases to amaze me. Even more so when one takes into consideration that with coloured diamonds there is less value placed on the perfect cut than the perfect colour. This reflects in the colour spectrum. But one is more than rewarded by the intensity of the colour.