Regional Diamond Trade: In Tune With Their Retailers

CHICAGO: SERVING THE HEARTLANDEver since William Levine started to provide Depression-bound jewelers with memo goods in the 1930s, Chicago-area diamond deal-ers have stressed their close ties to retail jewelers. Today, diamond dealers the world over woo retail jewelers in the Midwest. However, the Chicagoans say they are still masters of that game.“Service has always been what we do best,” says David Levine, third-generation member of William Levine Inc., which remains the largest diamond house in the Midwest. “We’re doing at least as much memo as ever, possibly more because prices of large goods have gone up a great deal and because many overseas diamond manufacturers have been connecting with retailers in the region.”Levine and other Midwesterners have been able to stay competitive, even as outsiders come in with lower prices, because they’ve built a strong base of loyal cl

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