I want to say a few words about Sylvain Ringer, the secretary of the Diamond Dealers Club who died recently.
Sylvain was a vital presence in the Diamond Dealers Club. He believed in it as an institution. I saw him about a month and a half before he died – and he clearly was very sick. But his mind was as sharp as ever – and he never stopped thinking, questioning, and brainstorming ways to help the Club, and by extension the diamond industry.
Sylvain was a man of strong opinions and beliefs but he could also be very charming and had a great sense of humor. I remember, at the World Diamond Congress in Antwerp in 2000, he was chosen to show a visiting dignitary around the city. I asked what he was like, and Sylvain said, “He didn’t impress me.” Later, when I had more dealings with the person in question, I thought, “That’s a perfect description.”
Sylvain was also something of an early vertical integrator, being a longtime partner in Riddle’s Jewelry in South Dakota.
At his instigation, I did a series of interviews for the DDC’s 75th anniversary, which were later adapted into this “oral history” for JCK. It is actually one of my favorite “long-form” stories that I’ve written recently, and I dedicate it to him …