Lynn Diamond Leaves Diamond Industry

It may seem like she is leaving the jewelry industry after 20-plus years to become a lawyer, but former Diamond Promotion Service executive director S. Lynn Diamond wants people to know she isn’t completely saying good-bye.

“I’m not going to disappear,” she told JCK, at a lunch that served as a break from studying for the bar exam. She notes that she is still a member of the 24 Karat Club and wants to keep up her industry contacts and friendships. She even still surfs industry news Web sites. “I don’t feel like I’m going to be leaving,” she says. (At press time, no replacement had been named for her at DPS.)

But she is making a pretty drastic career jump: Diamond, who graduated from Brooklyn Law School this year, is leaving DPS to become an associate at White and Case—an international “white shoe” corporate law firm. Entry-level law jobs at corporate firms are notorious for their punishing hours, but Diamond notes it can’t be any worse than the period when she held down her position at DPS and spent nights going to law school.

Diamond has worked in the jewelry industry almost continuously since her graduation from Cornell University. As an entry-level editor at what was then Gralla Publications, she was assigned to National Jeweler—in part, she remembers, because people thought it amusing that someone with the last name “Diamond” should work for a jewelry magazine.

Diamond worked her way up to editor-in-chief of National Jeweler. Among the journalists she hired include current National Jeweler editor-in-chief Whitney Sielaff, Rapaport vice president of marketing Eileen Farrell, and this writer. In 1996, her career took an extreme turn when she became executive director of the Diamond Promotion Service, a division of JWT, De Beers’ U.S. marketing firm.

But at some point, another career path beckoned. “I think I’ve always been destined to go into law,” she says. “When I was in my last year of college, I considered law school, but I was young and tired of school and didn’t want to do it.”

But through the years, she kept getting involved in legal issues—particularly at DPS, where the “client” (De Beers) always had some interesting legal entanglements. “It was something I was always interested in,” she says. “I had lawyers say to me: You think like a lawyer.”

So she went to law school, eventually interning at the law firm where she will now work full-time. And so a stellar career in the jewelry industry is about to end, and Diamond says she’ll miss a lot.

“I am one of those rare people who always enjoyed what I was doing most of the time,” she says. “I loved my job at National Jeweler, I enjoyed what I was doing at DPS. I am from a family of merchants. My father’s family was in the wholesale auto parts business, so I’ve always had an understanding of and feeling for that part of the industry that was family-owned businesses.”

And while it may seem she is making a big change in her life, she isn’t worried. “I’ve already reinvented myself once,” she notes.