Inside Business: Schumacher Diamond Cutters - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Inside Business: Schumacher Diamond Cutters

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When Barney Schumacher was little, he liked to play with rocks and stones, but unlike most kids, he ended up following his father's footsteps into the diamond cutting business. Now, he gets to play with precious stones from all over the world.

"Well my father was in the business for many years, so I decided to follow his footsteps. I went to Africa and I worked in Sierra Leon and Liberia in the mining sector before I came back to Bismarck and worked with my father in the jewelry manufacturing. I slowly built my business up," says owner Schumacher of Schumacher Diamond Cutters.

And built business he has. Schumacher Diamond Cutters provides finished products to customers all across the country from their Bismarck location.

"We cut diamonds for 3,000 jewelers in the United States. That's our big business is cutting diamonds for a lot of different jewelers, wholesales and actually other diamond cutters in North America," says Schumacher

Schumacher doesn't look at retail sales through rose-colored glasses. He says his customers appreciate being able to walk in without an appointment and be shown to a private setting to shop for all types of jewelry, not just diamonds.

"The customer can come in. If they're looking for earrings, we'll bring the earrings out of the vault. If they're looking for an engagement ring, well bring one out of the vault and show them directly what we have," says Schumacher.
 
But diamonds are still the main event at Schumacher Diamond Cutters, and once in a while they get to work on a stone that would have made Elizabeth Taylor blush.

"We cut a piece that came out of Seirra Leone about 10 years ago. Started at about 25 carrots, and we kept working the stone, and it seemed to get whiter as we kept working it. At that time it sold for about 300,000. Today that stone would be over a million dollars," says Schumacher.

Shumacher says that diamonds are found all over the world, from Canada, to Russia, to South America, but the majority still come form South Africa. And like all businesses, diamond cutting has been affected by technology.

"I would say in the last 15, with the computer side of things, has really impacted our business. We have the most advance cutting facility in the world here. A lot of people don't know that. They don't think of Bismarck, N.D. as a cutting center," says Schumacher

But Schumacher says computer-operated machines can never replace the human touch needed to coax out the gem that is hidden inside that raw stone.

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