I am an owner and the self-appointed archivist at William Goldberg. The other day, I was going through some older files and came across something I’d written in 2006 – my foray into the world of diamond cutting! I was definitely the first female to ever actually polish a diamond in our factory, and I thought it would be an interesting story to share today. There are few (if any) female diamond cutters that I know of today, but we have definitely made some progress in our industry. More and more women today are assuming important, powerful roles in the diamond and jewelry world, leading the way to greater representation and equality in this business we love. Enjoy this little glimpse into my first day as an apprentice at the William Goldberg cutting factory.
“I place the stone down on the spinning wheel and feel an instant rush of energy. A surge of excitement. My hand vibrates as I hold down the “dop.” I experience a sense of power and control that I have never felt before.
For all my 20 years in the diamond business, I have wanted to cut diamonds. When my father was alive, he felt it was not really a job for a woman. He pointed me in a different direction, and the more I became involved in the business, the less time I had to give it a try. So, I shelved the idea and forged ahead with my career.
Over time, my work and my life fell into a routine. I began to feel the need for something new and interesting. Something to get excited about. I decide it is time to become William’s apprentice and get behind the wheel.
When the day comes, I arrive early – 7:45 am. I’m nervous. I’d been thinking about it all night, wondering what to wear (seriously?!), how I would change in the office, who would be there so early, would I feel comfortable going from working in the office to the factory.
I go into my office, change into my jeans, take off my jewelry, my watch, and head for the cutting room. One of the reasons my Dad gave for not wanting me to cut was that the guys changed their clothes in the shop, and having me around might make them uncomfortable. Okay, so I open up the shop door, and lo and behold, there is Louis (76 years old and an old friend of my father) in his tighty whities. It was hysterical how fast he jumped to hide! We both had a good laugh, and I decided that I would knock first from now on.
William sets up my bench and we get started. I had to learn the simple act of placing the dop down onto the wheel (gently of course) and lifting it up. This was very routine for William and the other cutters, but for me, it was completely uncharted territory that made me nervous.
I spend two hours cutting on my first day and the time just flies by. It feels great not thinking and planning every minute. I’m able to just relax, get into a zone, and let my mind rest. I love every second of it and can’t wait for the next day.”
- Eve Goldberg