Derek M. Parsons, 66, former head of the Miami-based Diamond Bourse of the Southeastern United States, died of leukemia on Feb. 22.
Parsons served as president from 1998 to 2007, according to current president David Rosenberg. At the time of his death, Parsons was serving as treasurer for the bourse.
In 2004, Parsons sued De Beers on the grounds that its Supplier of Choice policy hurt smaller dealers.
“De Beers can’t expect to come into America and crush 60 percent to 70 percent of the diamond dealers here and not expect a fight,” he told JCK at the time.
That suit eventually got wrapped up in the $300 million De Beers anti-trust settlement.
Rosenberg remembers that many in the industry disapproved of Parsons’ joining the lawsuit, but he believed it was the right thing to do.
“He was an incredible individual, a man of honor and integrity,” remembers Rosenberg.
Parsons owned two businesses, British Diamond Import Co., a wholesaler, and a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based retailer Windsor Diamond.
Parsons was born in Liverpool, England. He is is survived by his wife, Suzanne. In lieu of flowers, mourners are asked to make donations to: Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation, Broward General Medical Center, 1600 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33316