Bermudians help diamonds store sparkle

  • Among the jewels: Rosheena Beek, Sakina Muhammad and Judith Cuffee are part of the team at Diamonds International Bermuda in Dockyard, which is gearing up for a busy summer
  • Closer look: Rosheena Beek inspects a diamond at Diamonds International Bermuda in Dockyard
  • On display: the stylish interior of Diamond International in Dockyard (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Bermudians and their work ethic have impressed the managers of Diamonds International Bermuda, which is gearing up for a busy season.

It is less than a year since the store opened its doors in Dockyard. As it prepares for the start of the cruise ship season, a major source of customers, it is also experiencing the buzz of the America’s Cup build up.

At the same time, the business is looking to expand its Bermudian team, and is proud that it is able to offer opportunities overseas for staff who show commitment and a willingness to spread their wings.

One young Bermudian saleswoman is currently working at the Diamonds International branch in the Bahamas, and doing so well that the store there would like to keep her. But she will be needed in Bermuda as the visitor season moves into full gear.

The Bermuda branch is managed by husband and wife Yinon and Klil Scheuer. There are six local staff, and more are expected to be added in the near future.

For Bermudians, that can mean the start of a fulfilling career. Ms Scheuer said: “We are looking for good people to come and start with us. The company is an amazing platform if you are serious and looking to grow.”

The opportunities can include working and training overseas to progressing into managerial roles.

The Scheuers have been at the Bermuda branch for four months and have been impressed by the Bermudian staff.

“The people here are excellent. They have a good work ethic and understand what it is to give service. They are so welcoming and understand the importance of tourism for the economy,” said Ms Scheuer.

Diamonds International was founded more than 20 years ago, and operates from more than 125 locations around the Caribbean, including Mexico, and also in Alaska.

It took a while for the company to find the right location for a branch in Bermuda. It did so last summer in one of the former naval base buildings near the Clocktower Mall.

The 300 sq ft shop floor features a wide variety of jewellery, loose diamonds and watch brands, such as Mont Blanc and Zenith.

Of interest to many customers is the Crown of Light, an exclusive diamond cut by Diamonds International, which has 90 facets instead of the more regular 57.

“It absorbs and sends out more light. It has become one of our best sellers,” said Ms Scheuer, who explained that some people are taking cruise trips so they can purchase a Crown of Light diamond.

Diamonds International is prominent in the cruise ship ports of the Caribbean, and customers from the ships are attracted to the stores where they can benefit from tax and duty-free purchases.

Mr Scheuer said items sold are a higher quality and better priced than similar items sold in major cities.

One of the future aims of Diamonds International in Bermuda is to attract more residents to shop at the store, rather than fly to New York to make a diamond purchase.

Mr Scheuer said: “We have brought New York into Dockyard. You can buy your diamonds here. Bermuda should not be considered lower than the likes of New York and London.”

The company is committed to the ethical sourcing of its diamonds, ensuring its certified diamonds are conflict-free, sourced from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations resolutions.

“It’s important that we can trace our diamonds all way the back to the mines. That’s a good feeling,” said Mr Scheuer.

There is also a philanthropic side to the company, which is committed to giving back to communities where it operates.

For example in Namibia, ALMOD Namibia, a sister company of Diamonds International, supports the country’s branch of the orphanage group Baby Haven.

Another sister company, Tanzanite International, assists in funding a charitable eye-care mission in Tanzania.

Mr Scheuer said that aspect of the company was important and is something that employees take an interest in.

Diamonds International is expecting a busy season as the cruise ship season ramps up, with the added attraction of the America’s Cup in May and June.

The Scheuers are looking forward to the challenge and opportunities ahead.

The couple, who hail from Israel, have worked in a number of other Diamonds International locations, including Alaska — where the summer months are comparable with Bermuda’s winter. While there, they enjoyed the closeness of nature, which included black bears wandering through gardens, bald eagles and orcas.

They have been equally touched by the beauty of Bermuda, and the warmth of her people. And they see good things ahead.

Ms Scheuer said: “We have 100 per cent confidence in being here because we see the potential of the people who live here and those that come to visit.