TRAPEZE page 45
How Six Days
Can Last A Lifetime
great deal of interest in the
trapeze diamond among Boursa
"To tell you the truth, I'm a bit
jealous I wasn't in on it from the
beginning," he admits.
All of Mr. Baker's trapeze dia-
monds are created at one family-
owned diamond factory in
Netanya, Israel. The eight men
and women who do the final pol-
ishing in one tightly-secured
room are the only workers who
know how it is cut.
Polishers in another room per-
form isolated tasks on the rough
stones without understanding
the diamond's final configuration,
much like agents in a pyramid-
style undercover-intelligence op-
Secrecy continues to be para-
mount. Mr. Baker will not allow
the name of his factory, or his
buyer, to be published.
"I don't want the dealers rais-
ing the prices of their rough
stones next time he comes by,"
Even walking into the Boursa
is an exercise in espionage. When
"It's a very closed
world ... it's like
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buying the rough stones, Mr.
Baker says he often feigns disin-
terest in a particular parcel, then
swoops down on it later when
other dealers have stopped
If he plans to visit an office on
the seventh floor, he'll take the
elevator to the ninth floor and
walk down two flights.
"You never know who's watch-
ing you in the elevator," he
Despite all his precautions,
Mr. Baker claims that four ma-
jor manufacturers in Israel and
the United States have copied his
line of trapeze diamond rings. All,
he says, have settled out of court.
One of the American retail
stores that did very well with one
of his rings last summer adver-
tised an exact duplicate of the
ring in its fall '94 catalog, under
its own store name.
Although he's poised to reap
large profits on this year's pro-
duction, Mr. Baker says he still
feels like the new boy on the
And the memory of his early
days, when none of the big deal-
ers would touch him, still chafes.
"They really put me down,
those people," he says. "They told
me I was just a dreamer. In a
way, I feel I have to prove some-
thing to them.
"Anyone can learn to cut a di-
amond. But to create a new kind
of diamond and market it as
something completely unique is
much more difficult. "