A Day in the Life: Daniel Namdar, Fancy Color Diamond Specialist

SourcingSep 21, 2022

A Day in the Life: Daniel Namdar, Fancy Color Diamond Specialist

Namdar joins a long line of diamond experts, but his love of the trade was learned rather than inherited.

20220921_Namdar header.jpg
Daniel Namdar, director of Namdar Diamonds, shares what an average day is like in his role and what he loves most about his job.
New York—The story of Namdar Diamonds began nearly a century ago in Italy, when Rafael Namdar got his start as a gemstone supplier.

His son, Sammy, headed to New York in 1984 to start his own company. His eye for opportunity led him to shift gears from gemstones to colored diamonds, a then-burgeoning market in America.

Now, those who know colored diamonds know the Namdar name.

Sammy’s sons, Joe and Daniel Namdar, joined their father to carry on the family business.

In a recent Q&A with National Jeweler, Daniel, now director of Namdar Diamonds, shared what a day in his life is like and what drew him to the family business.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

National Jeweler: Your family has a long history in the jewelry business. Why did you decide to join them?

Daniel Namdar: I never really had a calling for jewelry when I was younger, but the business was growing and there was potential, so I decided to do it.

I didn’t have a great passion for it in the beginning, but it developed a couple of years in.

You start learning more about stones and get an appreciation for what you’re doing.

In the beginning, it was a family business so it just made sense, but now it’s something I really love and enjoy doing.

NJ: How did you get started in the family business? What was your first job?

DN: I started doing all the grunt work, which I think is important for any business owner to do.

I did everything from licking envelopes to doing the shipping, picking up packages, and sorting diamonds.

When I started becoming more active in selling and buying, I showed that I had a good eye. The stones I was buying for the company were selling quickly, so I started transitioning more into buying and selling.

Now, I try to focus only on dealing with suppliers and customers.

NJ: Fast-forward seven years, you’re the director of Namdar Diamonds. What are your daily responsibilities?

DN: I oversee what kind of merchandise we’re buying, how we’re allocating our funds, and what we’re investing in.

I also look for new business, new clients, and new stores. I still do a little bit of everything.

I make sure our inventory and money are where they should be. I see how the market is going, what’s selling and what’s not.

NJ: What is your typical day like at work? How do you start your day?

DN: I start my day with a coffee. Our business is 24 hours because we deal with people in Hong Kong and India.

We’re very much in the service industry. The bulk of our business is yellow diamonds and that’s all special order. It’s not something a retail jeweler will readily have in stock. It’s something that when they get a call for it, they right away reach out to someone like us.

They ask, “What do you have in this? Can I get a price on that?”

So, a lot of the time, throughout the night, I’ll get texts and calls from different customers. I try not to work when I’m home with my wife and kids, so I write it down and then when I get to the office, I have a list of people to get back to.

A lot of the business is sending out quotes. People want to know how much it would cost for this eternity band or what they can get for this budget.

I have a list on my phone of who I need to get back to and [I] start [my day] by getting back to them.

Once my list is clear, then it’s a little bit of everything. The phone rings throughout the day and then there’s email.

When I have free time, I look through our goods and our shipments.

NJ: So, this isn’t your typical 9-to-5 job?

DN: No, it’s all over the place. This is definitely not a 9-to-5.

NJ: What is your favorite part about your job?

DN: The corny answer is to make people’s dreams happen.

The real answer is, and this is how to do well in our sector of the jewelry industry, finding value. 

It’s all about finding something for a good price that maybe here this stone is not appreciated, but you can find somewhere it will be.

For example, in America there isn’t much demand for a chameleon (color change) diamond. If someone has a tough time selling it overseas, we can buy it at a good price, knowing that it’s rare. We can find a person who can appreciate its rarity. If we can make that sale with a fair but healthy margin, that’s very rewarding.

Whenever you create value and create a sale where there wasn’t one, that’s rewarding.

 Related stories will be right here … 

NJ: If you couldn’t have this job, what would you be instead?

DN: I would be a principal of a school. I’m good at running the show and I like working with kids. It’s meaningful.

It’s something I have a knack for and something I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid, but the honest truth is in Great Neck, New York [where I live], prices are very high.

We live in a community where there’s a level that people are accustomed to living and teachers don’t make that much money.

I got married at a very young age. I got married at 23. I’m currently 28 with three kids, so money needs to always be coming in.

At the end of the day, I needed to do something where I could support my family and live the life I wanted to live.

NJ: It may be too early to say, but do you think your children will carry on the family business?

DN: It’s something that’s impossible to answer because our business is based in New York City and the climate in New York City is changing so drastically every day.

Really, I don’t know what’s going to be in another 15 to 20 years, but if everything stays the same, I’m sure my kids would like it.

My oldest kid is 4, so right now it’s impossible to say. His passion is fighting crime and saving the world, like the Avengers.

NJ: I’m sure if the Avengers have an opening, they’ll let him know. Lastly, if you could give one piece of advice to someone aspiring to be in your field, what would you say?

DN: The key to being successful in fancy color diamonds is learning to find value. You have to learn how to find X and turn it into 1.5X. 

You have to learn who buys what, who needs what kind of merchandise, what sells, what doesn’t. You really have to stay in tune with the market and know what’s moving and what’s not.

If you’re good at it and execute properly, it’s rewarding and you can make a good living.

The Latest

Pantone color of the year 2024
TrendsDec 08, 2023
Pantone’s Color of the Year Is Warm and Fuzzy

The peachy hue also marks the program’s 25th anniversary.

Mary Tyler Moore and Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. Bone Cuffs
AuctionsDec 08, 2023
Sotheby’s Sold All Mary Tyler Moore’s Jewelry

The 21 pieces up for auction, including Tiffany & Co. jewels and a Cartier watch, garnered more than $430,000 across two sales.

Inesa Kovalova’s Links pin
CollectionsDec 08, 2023
Piece of the Week: A ‘Strong & Precious’ Brooch

Centered on a sunny heliodor, the “Links” pin was designed by Ukrainian jewelry artist Inesa Kovalova.

De Beers | Diamonds Falling
Brought to you by
The Most Important “C” in Diamonds: Confidence!

Without the ability to instill confidence within the industry and directly to the consumer, a diamond holds very little value.

Lashbrook ring
MajorsDec 07, 2023
Lashbrook Sues Manly Bands for Allegedly Copying Designs

The wedding band company is also accusing its former customer of removing watermarks from Lashbrook images for its own use.

Weekly QuizDec 07, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Rough diamonds from Alrosa
Policies & IssuesDec 07, 2023
The G7’s Long-Awaited Statement on Russian Diamonds Is Here

It provides a timeline for the implementation of new restrictions, but no details.

24 Karat Club of New York new members
MajorsDec 07, 2023
24 Karat Club of New York Welcomes New Members

The organization has elected 12 new additions.

Platinum  Guild International Diamond Rings
Brought to you by
If It’s Custom, Make It Platinum

With holiday proposals right around the corner, encourage your customers to go for platinum when making the big purchase.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsDec 06, 2023
On Data: How Are Independents Doing So Far This Holiday Season?

Sherry Smith breaks down the numbers on jewelry sales in November and reveals the category that “emerged as a standout.”

133 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsDec 06, 2023
A Yellow Diamond, Hollywood Jewels Stand Out at Sotheby’s

Additional lots will be offered in the Fine Jewels online sale through Dec. 7.

GIA logo
GradingDec 06, 2023
GIA Debuts Revamped Graduate Jeweler Program

By mixing creative and practical skills, the new course hopes to fill the industry’s bench jeweler gap.

A 1930s gem-set and enamel ‘Maltese cross’ cuff attributed to Verdura for Chanel (left) and a loose cushion-cut Burmese sapphire weighing 11.87 carats (right) were the top lots in Bonhams New York Jewels auction this week.
AuctionsDec 06, 2023
Verdura Cuff, Burmese Sapphire Shine at Bonhams

Several other colored gemstones joined the pieces in the top 10 list.

Neil Lane lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsDec 05, 2023
Signet Jewelers’ Q3 Sales Down 12%

The retailer is still expecting a strong holiday season with improving demand for natural diamonds.

Memorial for slain jeweler Peter Damian Arguello in Wheat Ridge, Colorado
CrimeDec 05, 2023
Police Continue to Investigate Murder of Colorado Jeweler

Peter Damian Arguello, the owner of Peter Damian Fine Jewelry & Antiques, was shot and killed in an apparent robbery last week.

Tanishq store
MajorsDec 05, 2023
Tanishq Continues U.S. Expansion With 2 New Stores

The Indian jewelry giant has opened locations in Houston and Frisco, Texas.

Chrono24 ChronoPulse
WatchesDec 04, 2023
Chrono24 Debuts the ‘Dow Jones’ for Luxury Watches

The watch seller’s new index tracks sales data from 14 brands, including Rolex and Patek Philippe.

David Bouffard Signet Jewelers
MajorsDec 04, 2023
David Bouffard to Leave Signet, RJC

The industry veteran will step down from both roles in April 2024.

David Webb turquoise and lapis ring
TrendsDec 04, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Decadent December

Tanzanite, turquoise, and zircon are all options for December babies, who sometimes “get the birthday shaft,” Amanda Gizzi writes.

Lightbox x Roséate Light Wand pendants
Lab-GrownDec 01, 2023
Lightbox Teams Up With Brand Founded by Former Tiffany Exec

The lab-grown diamond brand also collaborated with the website The Future Rocks on a collection launching today.

Lila Moss Calvin Klein campaign
FinancialsDec 01, 2023
Movado Lowers Guidance Again After Q3 Sales Dip

The company said it is facing a “challenging retail environment” but is prepared for the holiday season.

Muzo emerald and argyle pink diamond necklace
CollectionsDec 01, 2023
Piece of the Week: Muzo’s Emerald and Argyle Pink Diamond Necklace

It’s the hero piece of the newest "Green Jewel" collection, a collaborative offering from the two mines.

Pink Supreme Diamond
AuctionsNov 30, 2023
This Pink Diamond Reigned Supreme in Hong Kong

The 15.48-carat fancy intense “Pink Supreme” topped Christie’s fall jewelry auction in Asia, while a Patek Philippe led the watch sale.

Claire’s CFO COO Chris Cramer
MajorsNov 30, 2023
Claire’s Hires Former Bath & Body Works Exec as CFO, COO

Chris Cramer, who also spent time at Gen Z intimates brand Parade, will take on the dual role.

133 carat yellow diamond
AuctionsNov 30, 2023
Sotheby’s To Auction 133-Carat Yellow Diamond

The stone headlining the upcoming sale could fetch up to $5 million.

Kwiat diamonds
IndependentsNov 30, 2023
Frank Adams Rolls Out Kwiat’s ‘Mine to Shine’ Program

The retail offering lets customers track their diamond’s journey.

Diamond development hub in Angola
SourcingNov 29, 2023
Largest New Diamond Mine of the Decade Coming Online in Angola

The Luele mine is expected to eventually make the country the world’s third-largest diamond producer.

Holiday shoppers holding bags
SurveysNov 29, 2023
Holiday Shoppers Broke a Record This Weekend, Says NRF

From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers shopped online and in stores.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy