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Mike Fried

Michael Fried
Michael Fried

Hey there!  My name is Mike Fried, the CEO of The Diamond Pro.  I was born and raised in New York City.  While I am a New Yorker at heart, I have lived all over the world. I’m currently living in Brno, Czech Republic. I have 20+ years of experience. The first ten years I worked my way up the ladder for one of the largest diamond manufacturers in the world. For the last ten years I have been educating diamond consumers and helping people avoid all the rocks and shoals as they navigate their way to the perfect engagement ring.

My Diamond Industry Experience

My jouney in the diamond industry began 25 years ago. While still in university, I started to work part time at Leo Schachter Diamonds in NYC. At the time, they were one of the world’s largest diamond manufacturers.

After two years there, the company sent me to their global headquarters for an intense diamond training regimen.  As Ira explained, we weren’t just learning the academic knowledge of gemology. We learned how to evaluate every facet (pun intended) of the diamond trade in order to maximize the value of every diamond that came through our company.

My Diamond Expertise

My primary focus was selling certified diamonds over 1 carat to wholesalers and retailers across America. During that time I bought and sold millions of dollars worth of diamonds that ended up as engagement rings and earrings in independent retailers and mid-sized retail chains.

I would spend half the year on the road, learning the tastes of consumers in different markets (e.g. people in warmer climates didn’t mind JK color grades, while people in colder climates prefered to stick with I+).

I learned the ins and outs of diamond certification, which labs were lenient and may inflate the grades of diamonds and which ones had strict, consistent grading. I learned which aspects of the diamond offered the best value to customers and which diamonds customers shied away from.

After leaving Leo Schachter in 2007, I worked at another major diamond polisher called Moshe Namdar.  I became increasingly disenchanted with the business, and finally walked away at the end of 2009.  I have been travelling ever since, occasionally having worked at an independent retailer.

When Ira first started The Diamond Pro, I was very impressed with the idea.  I loved the concept of utilizing our expertise to empower the consumer.  I was excited when Ira brought me on board early on to handle the day-to-day management of the website, including my favorite part – interacting with our fantastic readership!

My Diamond Pro Experience

The last 13 years have been an incredible ride, helping diamond pro readers. I have answered thousands of questions our readers have emailed us about and trained an incredible team to help us answer every email quickly and precisely to get you the best possible diamond ring.

I have travelled around the world secret shopping as many retailers as possible. I have written almost ONE HUNDRED REVIEWS (I was shocked when I just counted them). I can’t be sure, but I’m guessing the retailers I’ve secret shopped (many of those I’ve tested multiple times) account for 80% of all diamonds sold around the world.

Northern Tip of Ireland

I have written hundreds of articles to answer commonly asked questions by our readers. And I am honored to be recognized as a diamond industry expert by Time, PeopleMoney, The Daily Mirror, NerdWallet, The Times Herald, Yahoo Finance Australia, The Art of Charm, The Washington Diplomat, The Next Web, and more.

I have been a guest on many podcasts talking about how to buy the best engagement ring such as Expert Authority Effect, Startup Hustle, The Unconventional Life, 10 Minute Entrepreneur and many more.

My Personal Life

I am an avid traveler who has been to more than 75 countries across the globe. I have lived in Israel, England, New Zealand, Australia, Croatia and now the Czech Republic.  I am most comfortable when I am in a foreign land, not knowing how to find the right train and arguing with some border police who I need to communicate with using hand signals.

I play disc golf and also love to cook any and all cuisines. When i finish updating this post, I’ll be making sichuan hot pot. One of the great parts of travelling for the secret shopping is getting to try local foods. My last secret shopping trip was to Austin, Seattle and Philadelphia. It was great going from tex-mex and bbq to Asian influenced seafood and finishing it off with some Italian-American food and cheesesteaks.

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