Hello Chris, can you tell l us where are you from and who you are ?
My name is Christian Ferrari, I was born in France in May 1971 in the northeast, son of Belgian origin mother and Italian from origin of my dad I hardly known him cause he died when I was 5 years old.
I live in Vietnam for 10 years, now I’m living with my 1 year old son Thien An at home is called Bin as her mother named Binh born in Ho Chi Minh city from his vietnamese mother who abandon us when he was 6 months old, since I bring a lot of my son whom I love more than anything is my diamond.
Was anyone in your family or close to you in the diamond business ?
No, i have no family member in the diamond business, it’s my passion who’s born with a first diamond I buy at the age of 20 years at the principality of Andorra,a 1 carat stone I was dazzled and impressed that this little piece of pure carbon would cost me my salary for the month was the era 6500 French francs approximately USD1100, today 20 years later this same stone was costing USD25,000 USD30,000.
How did you enter to diamond world ? And since how long ?
It all started the day I was looking for a change of professional activity. I manage a company in Belgium, Brussels I wanted to avoid people management, storage and avoid cargo steal.
I thought the gemstones (memory of my purchase at the age of 20 years in Andorra), easy storage, I could buy alone without intermediary, I only had to learn where and how I could get pretty stones to sale, here is my story!
With many internet research, where and how to recognize and find the gems, my research led me to a presidium manufacturer of gemmologie equipment in Singapore that identified the chemical composition of rocks and so tell me what are these stones.
With such equipment my new profession could start my first destination Cambodia, countries with multiple operating mining, I had to necessarily find precious stones towards the capital Phnom Penh Central Market in Phnom Penh appointed by the Phsar Thmey cambodgians.
I met a nice family who receive me and shows me the precious stones for sale I discover true gems of huge and beautiful, I have thought supplier I needed, I start shopping I tested the stones with my presidium material that tells me sapphire, rubies and various stones, all certified by my expert equipment.
So I’m starting in the selection of my purchases and my first investment expense 100,000 usd investment for the stock, my supplier guaranteed me that these are natural stone and written on my bill 100% natural stone, I pay confident and get back to Vietnam.
Back to Ho Chi Minh city, I’m going by myself at SJC laboratory to obtain certificated for each one of my stones, I deposited the stones for analysis, professional gemologist informs me that are synthetic stones, feeling confused and angry all my stones get low value cost of 100$ per stone.
I end up with the total loss of my investment capital, directly I contact the family in Cambodia who answers me there is no problem if I bring the stones back she repays me directly, I quickly get back to Phnom Penh to get back the stones retrieve my money. PP has arrived in the evening the covered market is closed.I had to wait until the morning to get back my money.The next day I was in front of the jeweler early morning to give back the stones.
There a control that lasts 3 hours. For finally tell me there is not her stones?I left the police after 15 hours of discussion and arrangement the jeweler force under the advice of the police repaid me, I left very soon with my money, I was back to the starting point.
Here I go again in internet searches, looking for a present areas of mining operations, I decided to go directly into the mines to avoid scammers and scams too numerous in this area.
After much research, I decided to take the leadership of Sri lanka good reputation for sapphires, arrived in Sri Lanka I took charge of Ratnapura big concentration for sapphire minor, about car 6 hours in car from the capital Colombo.
Arrived on site I visit my first minor it was in the year 2010, I launched my first purchase of crude stones and I walked away towards the capital Colombo in search of a lapidary (stone mason precious), I was very eager to carve my first purchase of sapphires.
Once in the cute size of workshops, I m waiting 4 hours after the cut to see the results achieved, my disappointment was great, when I discovered that my stones was not beautiful, no transparency, no gloss.What is happening with my stones?I decided to go back to the minor in search of explanation to understand, on the way I perceive an old gentleman who work the land, I party meeting to show him my cut stones and have answers to my questions.
This old man always expert in sapphire agrees to teach me to recognize the good raw stones and bad stones for several days I learned the necessary technical to get beautiful sapphires, I became a sapphire expert thanks to him.
Subsequently, all the crude that I was the sort was fast, hundreds of crude I held 3 to 5 maximum gross for size, I understood why the beautiful sapphire was rare.
With time I would discover that there are dozens of treatment to make bad, pretty stone? the oil treatments, glass filled glass injections, radiation precious stones.
Which unfortunately complicates the sale of colored stones, because customers do it was therefore difficult to explain and not know the treatment and the stones justify ever the price of a stone.
For example: 1 blue sapphire 15 carats treat glass filled a USD750 to USD1500 value While a sapphire blue 15-carat unheated not deal has a value of USD100,000 to USD200,000.
The sale is difficult cause not many people know how to recongize the natural sapphire or natural ruby, more than 90% of the stones sold every day are stones traited or synthetic witouth any value.
So I decided to go in search of diamonds towards Africa, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Namibia areas rich in diamond mining, but watch many trap waiting for me.
Arrival in Freetown, Sierra Leone, I had several appointments for mining operating visits, I entered into a contract with a big exploitaion local mining that can provide me with the best stone at the best price for my customers.
I remain discreet about the conditions for obtaining contracts and conditions very confidential. This being I emphasize an impressive number of scammers of all kinds in the world of diamond the traps are many.
What is a beautiful or pure diamond ?
The white diamonds are classified by color best color is D - E - F sometimes we accept the G color that has a good marketing.
Then comes the clarity ranking by IF - VVS1 - VVS2, VS1, VS2 after they avoided the lights SI1, SI2.
I m looking for the clarity with a minimum of inclusion or spots inside, so the ideal is to obtain perfection IF, VVS1 for color D, E, F.
For example a diamond of 1 carat color D with clarity IF will cost up to 4 times more expensive than a diamond of 1 carat color G clarity VS2.
Is it possible for a regular clients to be certain 100% about the value of a diamond ?
Yes the customer should require an analysis report for each diamond, the best World laboratory in diamond rest.
GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant) and IGI (International Gemmological Institute).6- what is the most appealing Diamond story you can share with us ?
The Cullinan is the biggest rough diamond ever found on Earth, with a mass of 3106 carats, or more than 621.2 grams (10x 6.5 cm). It was discovered only 9 meters deep,January 26, 1905 in the first mine in South Africa, renamed Cullinan, 50km from Pretoria. It is named after the owner of the mine where it was discovered, by Sir Thomas Cullinan.
It was purchased by the South African government decided to offer the King Edward VII of England to thank for giving autonomy to the Afrikaner states.
Crude Diamond, was sent to London in secret packet-prepaid registered post to 3 shillings, while an empty box was shipped with a large luxury precautions from Pretoria.
The size of the Cullinan was entrusted to the brothers Asschler Amsterdam. The stone was then transported from London to Amsterdam. A sealed package under guard crossed the inning on a ship of the Royal Navy.
But this package was empty while traveling Abraham Asscher was the “rock” in his pocket just to board a train and a ferry.
The rough diamond was cut to 105 stones including 9 diamonds of significant size:
- Cullinan I, 530.20 carats.Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa carved into a 530.20ct pear. It adorns the british imperial spectrum.
- Cullinan II, 317.40 caratsCullinan II or the Lesser Star Of Africa cushion cut-shaped 317.40ct. It adorns the crown of England.
- Cullinan III, 94.40 carats94.40 carat pear is on the crown of the Queen Mary and can be worn as a brooch with Cullinan IV.
- Cullinan IV, 63.60 caratsThe Cullinan IV cushion 63.30 carats. He was also behind the crown but could be worn separately.
- Cullinan V, 18.50 caratsThe Cullinan V triangular 18.80 carat pear. Originally mounted pin, it could also find its place on the crown, replacing the Koh-i-Noor.This was after the Koh-i-Noor was placed on the new crown of Queen Elizabeth in 1937.
- Cullinan VI, 11.50 caratsThe Cullinan VI marquise of 11.50 carats. It was first offered by King Edward to his wife, Queen Alexandra.It is now worn by Queen Elizabeth II during a necklace of emeralds.
- Cullinan VII, 8.80 caratsThe Cullinan VII a Marquise 8.80 carat mounted on a pin for which the center stone is a cousin of 6.80 carats.
- Cullinan VIII - 6.80 carats; The Cullinan VIII - I do not know!
- Cullinan IX, 4.39 carats:The Cullinan IX 4.39 carat pear of is mounted on a ring made for Queen Mary and sometimes worn by Queen Elizabeth.
If it’s not a secret, can you tell us from witch countries do you get your diamonds? And why?
I work mainly in Sierra Leone and Namibia because it is the country for me to provide the best quality diamond and are correct in business.
There are a lot of false company or exploitaion mining which offers diamonds are not diamonds, it damages your detection devices for mistake the choice of the minor is important remains the largest in the gems business.
How dangerous today is the diamonds world ?
Yes it is a universe which remains very dangerous and requires a lot of distrust in the process that starts from the mine until the delivery of my clients.The secret remains the absolute discretion in any transactions, I work mainly on control by order of my customers and I care that the current or control and the process of delivery to minimizes the risk of theft or worries.
It seems like your job takes you around the world all the time. How can someone in Vietnam get in touch with you to ask questions about diamonds or to process one? Thank youI have a permanent exhibition of precious stones and jewelry my shop into CRAFF Boutique Sofitel Central Plaza, 17 Le Duan Blvd, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam or contacted on my private mail: [email protected], my website: www.craffdiamonds.comI am at the disposal of my clients 7/7 days.