Trade Lives: By George!

Lazare Kaplan may be the diamond industry's version of Zelig. Name an industry trend, and the company—which turns 100 this year—was there, generally from the beginning. It was the first company to tout "Ideal Cuts," the first to start a brand, the first to get a patent for girdle inscriptions, the first to open a factory in Puerto Rico, and more recently, the first to market heat-and-pressure treatments. It was also an early supporter of AGS and GIA. Enjoying a front-row seat for all this is George Kaplan, 85. The second son of the company's namesake, George ran the company with brother Leo until 1984, when Lazare Kaplan fell victim to the problems then consuming the diamond industry and declared Chapter 11. The firm later was acquired by the Tempelsman family. Telling tales. George Kaplan has fascinating stories to tell about industry legends like Harry Winston and Marcel Tolk

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