New York—The Natural Color Diamond Association is expanding its team, and its international presence.

Earlier this month, the association announced the addition of diamond industry veteran Robert Bouquet to its team.

Bouquet has worked in diamonds for more than 25 years, having held roles at major diamond producers, developed diamond exploration companies and performed industry-related consultancy projects worldwide.

Based in Antwerp, he will report on the diamond market and how it is performing, using his experience and opinions to give insight into the trade and providing transparency into supply and demand.

In his August 2020 report for the NCDIA, Bouquet said: “From a supply and middle-market perspective, we are seeing a sharp contraction, which will only be reversed once jewelry demand calls for it; the irony is that the industry will emerge in healthier shape, despite the difficulties it will have to endure in order to get there.”

Concurrent with his addition to the team, the association announced it’s expanding its presence in the international market by building what it calls a “United Nations of ambassadors” to promote natural color diamonds.

“Most organizations like ours are searching for ways to move forward after the impact of the world economies’ shutting down due to the pandemic,” President Alan Bronstein said in an email alert.

“Like other leading groups we must re-envision our roles and our necessity vis-à-vis the needs of consumers and our industry members as we position ourselves in the new world order.”

The ambassador representing Hong Kong and Asia will be Ephraim Zion, a pioneer in the natural color diamond world.

He started as a diamond cutter in Israel at age 14. After moving to New York for other opportunities and then to Hong Kong in 1971 to join his family’s diamond and colored stone business, he founded Dehres, known as one of the foremost high-end jewelry manufacturers in the world.

The ambassador based in Singapore will be John Glajz, who started working as a managing director for Mondial Jewelers of Singapore at 25.

He became more involved with the natural color diamond market in the 1990s, with Argyle pink diamonds becoming the focus of his designs.

He launched the Glajz brand in 2004 and has partnered with Argyle to create one-of-a-kind projects.

Matthew Aldridge will be the ambassador based in Geneva.

He is a second-generation member of the industry, mentored and taught by his father, who founded the family company, Gemcut, 55 years ago.

The company started in the trading of colored stones and secondhand jewelry before evolving into natural color diamonds, eventually becoming an authorized distributor with the Argyle pink diamond mine.

In Italy, Marco Pocaterra will serve as an ambassador.

Based in Milan, Pocaterra has spent the last four decades working as an executive director in corporate banking, finance, insurance and real estate.

His vast experience with natural color diamonds comes from serving as adviser and partner with leading international diamond companies for more than 20 years.

Rounding out the group will be Yves Frey of Yves Frey Diamonds in London and Henry Ho of the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences in Bangkok.

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