Caron Enlander—the only woman to serve on the board of directors of the Diamond Dealers Club—died recently of cancer at the age of 50.
Enlander—whose maiden name was Weiss—didn’t have a diamond background, but entered the field after she got a job at a diamond company.
“She showed up for the job, but the fellow never turned up,” says husband Derek Enlander. “So there she was. She had given up her job and told all her friends and family that she was going into the diamond business. So she decided she was going into the industry. People told her: You have no connections, you have no family business. How do you expect people to trust you?”
But Derek Enlander says his wife was a person of rare determination, and she went to London after someone advised her to start there.
“She went to Hatton Garden [the London diamond district] and went eeny meeny miny mo and knocked on doors,” he says. “Finally someone told her, ‘You have a lot of nerve. I am going to give you these two diamonds. See if you can sell them.’ And she sold them. And he gave her two more diamonds and she sold them, too.”
Enlander established herself as a broker in New York, eventually working for sightholder Louis Glick. Her burgeoning reputation got her elected to the DDC board of directors.
“Everyone laughed at first because there had never been a woman director,” Derek Enlander remembers. “But people trusted her and she had such a good reputation that she became a director and was revoted in four years later.”
Derek Enlander calls his wife a “remarkable woman” with a “magic ear for languages.” “She didn’t speak Yiddish and she could see the all the dealers were wheeling and dealing in front of her in Yiddish,” he remembers. “So she taught herself the language.”
The Medical Research Foundation of Israel has established the Caron Enlander Medical Research Fund as a tribute to her.
The diamond community is also mourning the sudden death in a car accident of Isak Banda, 81, the father of DDC president Jacob Banda. Isak Banda was a 37-year member of the Diamond Dealers Club, as well as a respected rabbi.