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DiCaprio-Backed Synthetics Firm Lures High-Profile Diamond Cutters

Jan 25, 2016 2:09 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Diamond Foundry, a synthetic-diamond company with financial backing from actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs from Princeton and M.I.T, has made two high-profile appointments, including the inventor of the princess cut.

Israel Itzkowitz, who invented the now-popular diamond style in 1979, has joined the company as Master Cutter. Over the years, he has crafted designs for De Beers, Tiffany & Co. and Graff Diamonds, according to a statement January 21.

“We are pleased to welcome the inventor of the diamond princess cut to our company,” said Diamond Foundry chief executive officer R. Martin Roscheisen. “Itzkowitz’s experience and love for diamonds will help us build the leading diamond company in the world.”

Maarten de Witte, a master diamond cutter and “brand builder,” formerly known as the ‘Diamond Wizard’ at Hearts On Fire, has also joined the company, according to a separate statement January 21. De Witte has been involved with gem diamonds for more than 40 years and served as director of the American School of Diamond Cutting. He was a shop foreman for EightStar Diamonds and executive director for the U.S. at EmBee Diamonds.

“Maarten has extensive experience, passion and vision for the future of fine diamonds, which we expect will project Diamond Foundry in the best possible light,” said Roscheisen.

Diamond Foundry claims to “reimagine” the diamond industry from “mine to finger” by operating a “responsible, honest, and modern business.” In November 2015, it claimed to have made breakthroughs in chemical vapor deposition (CVD), a method of growing lab diamonds, enabling it to manufacturer high-quality diamonds faster and in more cost-effectively than is currently possible.
Tags: Diamond Foundry, entrepreneurs, Rapaport News, Silicon Valley, Synthetics
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