Entrepreneur Martin Rapaport, founder and chairman of the Rapaport Group, which owns diamonds.com, began his career in 1975 as an apprentice diamond cleaver in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1976, Martin founded his eponymous company. He soon recognized a need in the market for fair and transparent diamond pricing.
In 1978, when he was in New York City, Martin revolutionized the industry when he published the Rapaport Price List. He transformed the business again in 1996 when he launched the online RapNet Diamond Trading Network. Together, RapNet and the Rapaport Price List, provide diamond pricing, availability and trading transparency in a competitive environment.
A major recycler of diamonds, the firm offers Rapaport Trading and Auction Services selling over 500,000 carats of previously owned diamonds annually. Over the years, the Rapaport Group products and companies have evolved and expanded internationally to include a broad range of added-value services with a unified purpose: The development of fair, honest, transparent, competitive and efficient markets.
The company currently employs 230 people internationally. The Rapaport Group operates offices in major diamond hubs around the world including New York, Las Vegas, Antwerp, Ramat Gan, Mumbai, Surat, Dubai and Hong Kong.
The Rapaport Group is an active member of the international diamond, gemstone and jewelry industry and is a member of several organizations including New York Diamond Dealers Club, U.S. Diamond Manufacturers and Importers Association, Jewelers Vigilance Committee, Antwerp Diamond Bourse, Israel Diamond Exchange, Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association, Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Dubai Diamond Exchange and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange.
The Rapaport Group takes a strong proactive role promoting and implementing corporate responsibility programs around the world. Internal controls and audits ensure that our companies are in full compliance with local and international laws. The Group’s in-house compliance team includes experienced lawyers who monitor all of our activities and our strict adherence to best practice principles. Independent external audits ensure full compliance with all aspects of the Kimberley Process, U.S. Patriot Act, anti-money laundering regulations and other guidelines.
Rapaport’s corporate responsibility activities extend well beyond commercial ventures. Our mission transcends the standard corporate goals of profit maximization. Rapaport champions all of the people in every aspect of the diamond industry. From artisanal diggers in Sierra Leone to millions of cutters in India and jewelers across the globe, we believe that everyone is worthy of being treated fairly and respectfully. We are committed to supporting these values in all that we do.
We believe that the private sector has a critical and irreplaceable role to play, driving sustainable economic development in the poorest countries of the world. We are committed to using our economic power and strategic positioning in the diamond and jewelry industry to help artisanal diggers and other disadvantaged groups obtain economic self-sufficiency. The Rapaport Group regularly donates at least 10 percent of profits to charity and initiates programs to alleviate poverty in Africa and elsewhere.
Martin is an industry activist and leader who advocates for the rights of artisanal diamond diggers in Sierra Leone. He is one of the originators of the Kimberley Process (KP), a United Nations–backed set of requirements instituted to stop the flow of diamonds funding conflict from entering the mainstream market. In 2000, Martin attended the first KP meeting in Kimberley, South Africa. He helped form the World Diamond Council (WDC), which represents the diamond industry in the development and implementation of regulatory and voluntary systems to control the trade in diamonds embargoed by the United Nations, or covered by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Martin later resigned from the WDC following its refusal to notify the trade about limitations of the KP.
In April 2000, Martin’s article “Guilt Trip,” about diamonds being used to bankroll the Sierra Leone civil war, was published in Rapaport Magazine. The article was read into the Congressional Record by Congressman Tony Hall (D) Ohio, when he introduced the Clean Diamond Act in 2001, legislation that Martin actively supported. The Clean Diamond Act, a bill to implement effective measures to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, was passed by congress in 2003. More recently, he has protested greenwashing by the KP regarding the legitimization of diamonds from Zimbabwe. In 2005, Martin established and funded the first Sierra Leone diggers cooperatives in coordination with the State Department’s U.S. AID (Agency for International Development) and the U.K. DFID (Department for International Development).
In 2017, the Sierra Leone government selected the Rapaport Group to market and auction the “Peace Diamond,” a 709-carat rough gem (pictured above) found by a group of artisanal miners. The Rapaport Group provided its services at no charge so that all of the money from the sale of the stone benefited the artisanal diggers and the people of Sierra Leone. The rough diamond was purchased by London-based jeweler Graff.
The Rapaport Collection of diamonds and fine jewelry showcases rare and luxurious pieces personally chosen by our experienced curator. Our graduate gemologist concierge will be your personal contact through every step of your acquisition to ensure that you get exactly what you desire. You may call or email our concierge directly and she will answer any questions that you may have so you can make an informed decision about your purchase. With over 40 years in the diamond and jewelry business we have a global network of connections enabling us to source whatever you request. We emphasize top quality and fair pricing so that your jewel is extraordinary not only in gemstones and design, but in value as well.
Director Jewelry, Rapaport
I appreciate working with diamonds,” says Penina Rapaport, director of Rapaport Jewelry. “Besides being beautiful, diamonds have both sentimental and emotional value when they are given as a gift of love, or passed down from generation to generation.” Penina is a Diamond Graduate (DG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City, where she learned how to evaluate and grade diamonds. A romantic at heart, Penina particularly likes helping newly engaged couples find the perfect diamond and setting to create the engagement ring of their dreams. “Diamonds.com is the place that people can come to when they want to acquire quality jewelry from someone they can trust.” Penina specializes in diamonds of 3 carats and above and advises clients who wish to disperse of their family jewels. Prior to joining her family’s business, Penina worked for Carelle, a jewelry manufacturer in New York City, where she assisted with special projects related to business development. An avid traveler, Penina has been all over Europe, South America and through parts of Asia and Africa. An extreme sports enthusiast, Penina is passionate about snowboarding, scuba diving, hiking and enjoying life. In her spare time, she likes to arrange gatherings to connect good people with good causes and charities.
Chief Curator & Storyteller
It is my desire that everyone experiences the joy of jewelry the way that I do,” says Amber Michelle, chief curator & storyteller for the Rapaport Collection on diamonds.com. For 23 years, Amber was editor in chief of Rapaport Magazine, a business-to-business publication for the diamond, gemstone and jewelry industry. During that time, she reported on everything from mining and gemology to fashion, design, history and auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. “It has been my great pleasure to hold some of the world’s most famous diamonds in my hand and connect to those amazing gems on a deep level. Every diamond and piece of diamond jewelry has its own special tale to tell and when I hold those fabulous gems in my hand they whisper their story to me.” Amber’s love of gemstones came about at an early age. The daughter of a foreign-service officer, she traveled the world extensively and began collecting and studying gemstones for their spiritual meaning. She continues on that journey meditating with gemstones daily. For the Rapaport Collection, Amber combines her love of fashion, art and jewelry to curate a selection of estate and fine diamond pieces with a design point-of- view that appeals to a collector’s sense of history and a woman’s sense of style.
Unusual gemstones really get my attention. Something different and unique makes my heart sing,” says Glenda Marshall, concierge for the Rapaport Collection on diamonds.com. Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Glenda has gemstones in her DNA. Her parents were lapidaries and taught Glenda how to identify gemstones before she learned her ABC’s. Glenda went on to earn her Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and became an appraiser running her own business — Independent Jewelry Appraisal Services. For 23 years Glenda appraised jewelry for consumers, retailers, law enforcement, trust companies and pawn shops. She has also been an expert witness for a number of court cases. She later worked with a diamond broker in Vancouver sorting and grading diamonds. Ten years ago, Glenda moved to Las Vegas when she got married. She met her husband in the Vancouver airport while waiting for a flight to Las Vegas where she was headed for vacation. In Las Vegas, she worked for the American Gem Society Laboratory as supervisor of client relations. Glenda likes to travel and has been to several countries in Europe as well as Costa Rica, Mexico and Egypt. She also appreciates her home which has a very large back yard filled with flowers accented by gemstone specimens including amethyst, quartz, tiger’s eye, chrysocolla, rhodochrosite and various geodes.