The Legacy of William Goldberg: How One Family Transformed the Diamond Industry
At the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 48th Street, in the heart of New York City, you will find William Goldberg Way.
In 2006, the city named this street after one of the greatest diamond merchants in the world — William Goldberg. A diamantaire, father, and perfectionist, Mr. Goldberg was an integral part of establishing New York City’s Diamond District as the premier marketplace for jewelry and precious stones.
Bill Goldberg was a legend in the industry. Because of his unmatched passion and unique philosophy, he built one of the most distinguished diamond jewelry houses the world has ever seen.
Founding the William Goldberg Brand
Mr. Goldberg was born on Tiffany Street in the Bronx and began his career as an apprentice at a diamond factory. He quickly learned diamond cutting was not his forte. Instead, he discovered he had a brilliant talent for buying and selling diamonds.
Not only could he spot a beautiful diamond, but he could also see the potential in every stone he handled. To Bill Goldberg, a diamond’s cut was the most important characteristic of a perfect diamond, even over sacrificing carat weight for its beauty.
This belief inspired the brand’s iconic slogan, “The Magic is in the Make™,” which made a statement when the diamond industry was more focused on carat than cut. Mr. Goldberg was one of the original people in the diamond industry who branded himself and his company, making him a force far ahead of his time.
After founding the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation in 1973, Bill Goldberg purchased one of his most notable diamonds, the 136.25 carat Queen of Holland. In the years to follow, he traded some of the rarest diamonds in the world, including the Premier Rose, a 137.02 carat D Flawless diamond, earning the brand global recognition.
In 1999, the Goldberg family introduced its patented ASHOKA® diamond cut, which became the brand’s pride and joy. The ASHOKA® diamond is exclusive and extraordinary, and it cannot be duplicated. Coveted worldwide, Rahul Kadakia, the international head of jewelry at Christie’s, has called it, “a legend in the world of diamonds.”
Passing on Goldberg’s Love for Diamonds
William Goldberg was a family business from the beginning. William’s wife, Lili Goldberg, was the brand’s CFO for many years and was always by his side. Their children and grandchildren also inherited Goldberg’s love of diamonds.
Son, Saul Goldberg, and son-in-law, Barry Berg, began their careers at William Goldberg by traveling to Antwerp and London to purchase and sell stones. Later, his daughter Eve Goldberg joined the business and is now the brand’s Creative Director. And grandson, Benjamin Goldberg, shares his late grandfather’s passion for diamonds, traveling internationally to work with clients from around the globe.
Carrying On William Goldberg’s Legacy
Bill Goldberg was much more than just a diamond dealer — he was a people person who was respected and adored by everyone in the industry. He loved making people smile, which is why he would secretly tuck away gemstones in his specially sewn suit pockets to casually surprise those around him.
Mr. Goldberg believed the perfect diamond should “make you perfectly joyous,” and diamond jewelry was meant to be worn and appreciated, not kept in a safe. The brand continues to embody this belief, making diamonds more wearable, fashionable, and modern.
Today, Saul, Eve, Barry and Benjamin lead one of the world’s most prestigious diamond jewelry houses. When Mr. Goldberg passed in 2003, the family made it their mission to continue running the business with his drive, uncovering and selling some of the world’s most beautiful diamonds.