ABOUT US - OUR STORY AND MISSION STATEMENT
As a company, The Diamond Specialists, Inc. (TDS), is a direct expression of the upbringing of its founders - honest local people looking to take care of family and friends. The president of TDS, Russell Oshita has a story that runs parallel to the other principals who were all born, raised and who still live here in Hawaii.
Russell grew up in the 50's in rural Kauai where hard work, education and honesty were virtues and people trusted each other. Locking your doors were not necessary when leaving the house. His father was a WWII combat veteran who worked three jobs and his mom, the “love of dad’s life” worked for the State. Russell admired his dad for his deep honesty and the respect that he showed everyone. Lessons he learned from his father - you do not fake sincerity, you do not take advantage of others and you always work for the benefit of everyone.
Russell grew up with three rambunctious brothers. Through the ups and downs with his family he learned to take the consequences of his actions and to learn the other side of the story before reacting with anger. His life was one big spiritual path of learning and growth.
While pursuing a major in art at the University of Hawaii his attention turned to Zen Buddhism, Hinduism and Chinese martial arts. As a believer in dedicated, hard and devoted work and with a love for the flow of movement found in the martial arts Russell soon became a top instructor for one of the larger Kung Fu Schools in Hawaii.
His easy-going, small town approach to life did not prepare him for working in the jewelry industry. His first employer in the industry cheated his workers and over charged and sold fake stones to his customers. This employer made huge profits by lying to and cheating his customers and was proud of it. This experience was shocking and, well, mind-blowing. Disgusted and appalled, Russell began to think about starting his own business.
At this time, he met a diamond “wholesaler” who seemingly had very low prices for loose diamonds. Russell inspected 10 GIA graded diamonds from that dealer and was stunned at what he found. All of the stones were either poorly cut, contained dark inclusions and/or had strong fluorescence. After taking these into consideration the stones were actually very expensive for the quality. This man called himself a “diamond wholesaler” but his prices seemed low only because he had very poor diamonds. He willingly and deliberately took advantage of the lack of knowledge of the consumer. This "diamond wholesaler" is still in business selling diamonds in Honolulu.
While there were and are honest jewelers that he met the theme of disappointment went on and on. Jewelers lied about being wholesalers; they switched diamonds; they lied about the grades on diamonds; they sold diamonds with certificates which were very loosely graded and they used deceptive practices to confuse customers.
Just about this time Russell came across and became friends with an island born genuine diamond wholesaler who was also frustrated with the dishonesty of many store owners in the jewelry industry in Hawaii. His Hawaii store accounts would take diamonds from him to sell to local consumers. The problem was that a few of the stores were describing and selling these diamonds up to six grades higher than the actual quality. The stores lied about the grades to their customers with their graduate gemologists being very careful to state that “in their opinion” these were the grades of the diamonds. One graduate gemologist is still doing business here.
This honest wholesaler had connections to cutters around the world and felt that the people of Hawaii deserved better. Together Russell and the ethical wholesaler mapped out a company which would be dedicated to doing business the “right” way - with respect and honesty.
This is how The Diamond Specialists, Inc. was born. Our deep seated mission stems from a sense that there was only one proper way to treat family, friends and friends of friends - you “take care” of them. You do not pressure them. You simply tell the truth, share ALL of the information then allow people to make their own decisions about what is best for them while lightly guiding them away from extremely poor choices. We could not do the things that unethical and dishonest jewelers were doing then and which are still being done today. We set out to:
- Treat everyone as family and friends
- Never cheat customers
- Never lie to customers
- Never deceive customers
- Never steal from customers
- Never take advantage of people for their lack of knowledge
- Never abuse the trust of people
- Never call yourself a “diamond wholesaler” when your prices are low only because you are selling over-graded, poor quality or treated diamonds
- NEVER COMMIT AN HONESTY GAP
This is our story. This is our mission.
The Diamond Specialists, Inc.
Russell Oshita and Staff
SHOPPING FOR A DIAMOND? BEWARE OF OVER-GRADED DIAMONDS!
Is it ethically alright to sell a diamond as a G color when the color is really an N? What if the G was really an I color? Is it alright to sell a diamond as a VS2 clarity when the clarity is really an SI2?
Shockingly, many people in the diamond and jewelry industries feel that it is fine to use third-party diamond grading reports to overstate the color and clarity of the diamonds they sell. They accomplish this this by simply offering you diamonds with EGL International or other over-graded diamond laboratory reports.
We reccommend that consumers avoid diamonds with EGL- I reports and only trust diamond grading certificates issued by GIA and AGS.
Do not be fooled. - read this.