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William Goldberg still has its good name, but not its DTC sight. This venerable diamond firm, with the legendary William Goldberg at the helm, was both the jewel in the crown and the thorn in the side of the Diamond Trading Company. In a business where most seek anonymity, Goldberg was out in public. He took part in news shows about the business; he bid flamboyantly at auction on special stones; he gave the business a personality and pizzazz.
And, according to daughter Eve Goldberg, the firm produced the stream of documentation required by the DTC for sightholders who wanted to keep their sights and to be chosen as members of that increasingly smaller and select community--a Supplier of Choice client. The firm branded and marketed for its own needs, not just for the DTC, but certainly as one of the requirements.
But, as it turned out, the Supplier of Choice sweepstakes were a lot like those mailings from the Publishers Clearing House. There was always some part of the entry you failed to fill out, some sticker you forgot to put in exactly the right place. When William Goldberg was dropped as a sightholder this past May, the company's business certainly wasn't affected, but its belief in loyalty was shaken to the roots.
"We felt betrayed. They told us we were perfect for Supplier of Choice. We were constantly doing presentations for them. We were 50-year sightholders. De Beers is not thinking of the past or the people," Eve Goldberg says.
As a leading New York manufacturer, says Goldberg, the family's company will not miss a step. "The only thing that has changed is that we are not making as many trips to London," she states.
"At most they were only 15 percent of our business. We bought an average of 8 percent to 15 percent from them over the past 10 years, although there was a time when they were a much bigger part of our business. Slowly we have been finding goods elsewhere--buying in Antwerp and Johannesburg. We are always searching for new sources," she says.
Ironically, Goldberg adds, "It's kind of a relief not to have to go anymore."
The family had considered the ramifications of not being a sightholders for many years, long before the first Supplier of Choice pronouncement was made. "We have had many discussions in this office about 'should we be sightholders?'" she says. "But we were part of a 'club.' It was a cachet, to be a …