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World Federation Of Diamond Bourses

Interview with Luigi Cosma, President, Borsa Diamanti D’Italia

Luigi Cosma

Q. What are your current titles/functions in the diamond industry, both private and organizational?

I’m a third-generation diamond dealer and I hold the position of President of Borsa Diamanti d’Italia, the Italian Diamond Exchange. My grandfather started to deal with polished diamonds in 1926. In the same year, together with other traders, he was one of the founders of the Italian Diamond Exchange.

Since 1997, I have been a board member of the bourse. In 2017 I was elected president, replacing my illustrious predecessor, Moshe Sians.

Q. Tell us about your journey in the diamond industry, how you began and where you are now.

Today my company is called Cosma Diamonds srl and is exclusively dedicated to the buying and selling of natural polished diamonds. My base is in Verona, which I consider to be one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.

I started looking at diamonds early, learning from my father how to use a loupe. In those years, still working, I studied gemology and graduated in political science. I have run my own business since 1997.

Q. Does your bourse only concentrate on Italy or on other markets as well?   

Among the main purposes of the Italian Diamond Exchange is to give its members an appropriate venue to develop and promote initiatives that can be useful to the members themselves and to the sector in general.

The Italian Diamond Exchange, which was founded on 2 December 1926 in Milan and had its historic headquarters in Piazza Paolo Ferrari 1, today is still located in the heart of Milan – in via Mazzini 10 – and on its premises members can operate every weekday. It remains to this day the oldest trade association established in Italy.

Today we are living in a globalized and interconnected world. Consequently, my bourse provides an opportunity for the expansion of possible connections of mutual interest between the various exchanges, to contribute and stimulate greater business activity. This is in addition to maintaining and enforcing the standards guaranteed by membership in the organizations themselves.

Q. What is the current situation in your diamond markets? How is the Christmas season shaping up?

Due to a certain drop in prices with a consequent drop in demand, the year was certainly not an easy year. Overall, the month of November gave positive signs that perhaps none of us expected and the Christmas season seems to be going better than expected. But let’s wait until the end of the year to take stock.

Q. How have international events, such as Covid and the war in Ukraine and the war in Gaza impacted your industry?

It may also be due to the fact that we have emerged from Covid, but I believe that the war in Ukraine and the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas have had a more negative impact than the pandemic. Uncertainty and instability are never good for the economy. In general, people need peace of mind and security so that they can feel comfortable spending money on diamonds.

Q. What are the challenges and opportunities facing your industry?

Today we have two challenges to face, one is lab-grown diamonds and the other is what will happen after the sanctions that the G7 will adopt against Russian diamonds.

Fortunately, in Italy synthetic diamonds have not caught on as in other parts. We as Borsa Diamanti d’Italia have done our part by explaining clearly to members and operators in the sector what type of product they are. For this reason, we have participated over the years in various conferences and the Vicenza Gold Fair and we contributed together with other associations to print a brochure in which we explained the differences between natural and laboratory-made stones.

Speaking again about lab-grown stones, I sincerely believe that in the future their use for jewelry will be limited but they will be used for other purposes, such as clothing or furniture accessories or whatever. It’s only a question of time.

However, as regards the impact that the sanctions will have on Russian diamonds, we cannot yet know this until we find out what type of sanctions they will be and how they will be applied. In any case, I believe that our sector is constantly changing, and our working capacity will depend on how we are able to adapt to the future rules of our sector.

Q. Tell us about your interests/family and anything else you would like to add.

Overall, working has always been a pleasure for me as I have always worked with a passion. In addition to the time I dedicate to work, I spend time with my family whenever I can. I am fortunate to have three wonderful boys and a beautiful little girl. Time and attention must be dedicated to each of them, so in the end I find myself having little time for myself, but that’s okay.

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