A Diamond Lover at Heart: Stanley Zale

The industry veteran recently joined Hill & Co. as principal consultant after 17 years at Stuller.

September 20, 2023  |  Sonia Esther Soltani

Can you tell us more about your new role at Hill & Co.?

Unlike other consultants, Hill & Co. specializes in growth solely within the diamond, gemstone and jewelry industry. We utilize our collective expertise, accumulated over decades of industry-specific experience to pinpoint exactly what our clients need to do to realize their ambitions. Then we take action with them, side-by-side.

As a fourth-generation member of this great industry, it is my want and desire to see the industry continue to grow and prosper by adapting to ever-changing market dynamics. I’m here to help others benefit from my experience and education in the school of hard knocks!

How do you feel about working with a team where most of the members are women?

That’s not something I even think about. Talented people are talented people. Now, if you were to ask me how I feel about working with a team where most of the members don’t consider the heart shape to be the greatest diamond cut of all, that is a different story.

What was your first job in the industry?

I began my formal education and experience as a sawyer of rough diamonds. On the same bench, we would put the groove in diamonds that were blocked out to be heart shapes. From there, I moved on to analyzing and planning rough diamonds. That’s something that is largely obsolete today because of the great technological advancements over the last few decades.

What’s the best advice you received when you started?

Listen to the diamond; it will tell you how to take it to maximum value.

Do you have a professional mantra?

I try to look at things pragmatically. When assessing what choice to make in a given situation, I look to see what is to be gained and what is to be lost in each direction. I try to keep emotion out of it.

What’s the last book you read that made a powerful impression?

Ron Chernow’s biography of George Washington. I love history; there’s so much to be learned.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I’m so fortunate to have had many great mentors who have taught me so much and inspired me. Difficult to limit it to just one. I’ll give you a few: MB Zale, my grandfather; Jane Vogel, [my] English professor in college; and industry experts Marvin Samuels, Louis Glick, Moses Janowski and Matt Stuller.

If you had one thing you could change in the industry, what would it be?

Let’s sell more heart shapes!

Main image: Stanley Zale. (Hill & Co.)

This article is from the September-October 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

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A Diamond Lover at Heart: Stanley Zale

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