Rubel & Ménasché: A Legacy of Lasting Natural Diamond Innovations

Discover the legacy and core values behind the historic diamantaire, leading the way in the natural diamond industry with 70 years of expertise.

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Courtesy of Rubel and Ménasché

Rubel & Ménasché is a diamantaire headquartered in Paris with over 70 years of expertise in the natural diamond industry. The Maison guarantees the integrity of its value chain, promoting more responsible practices and developing transparency at each stage of the process, from supply to preserving the reputation of its customers. The Natural Diamond Council sat down with CEO Stephan Wolzok to discuss the rich history of the Maison, what sets it apart in natural diamond industry, and its vision for the future. Discover Rubel & Ménasché’s ongoing innovations, such as melee traceability, below.

Natural Diamond Council: What are Rubel & Ménasché’s core values?

Stephan Wolzok: I could mention hard work, integrity, high standards and rigor. Yes, I could mention those and much more. But at Rubel & Ménasché, these values are so deeply rooted that they’re as natural as the air we breathe; they’re spontaneous, they’re just there.

If I really had to highlight what defines us above all else, I’d say joy. The joy that lives within us, the joy that drives us, the joy that comes through in every interaction with our partners, our customers, with all of you who help our industry blossom. Of course, I could also mention challenges… Overcoming challenges is in Rubel & Ménasché’s DNA, and we love it!

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

But what’s most important to us is our vision of happiness through the Maison; it’s about allowing those responsible for bringing excellence to the Maison every day to blossom in the knowledge they are fulfilling their potential, while sharing the values of expertise, high standards and creativity.

When we make decisions and choose a certain course to take, we never forget the human dimension and the desire for each individual to find fulfillment. We look after our employees. We value them by encouraging them to develop, innovate and broaden their horizons. Even in the toughest times, our commitment to every member of our team remains unwavering. As you can see, we place people at the heart of everything we do.

NDC: What part of Rubel & Ménasché’s history you would like to highlight?

SW: I wouldn’t highlight one aspect in particular, but I would say: what is it about Rubel & Ménasché that inspires us? What makes us share the same desire and enthusiasm every day? Ultimately, the answer is simple: each of the Maison’s successive CEOs who has steered the ship since it was founded in 1956 has shared the same desire to go ever further.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

For almost seven decades, our strategy has remained unchanged: to offer every customer a tailor-made service. We prioritize continuous development over instant profitability. We owe our success to our enthusiasm for our craft and our products, from pavés and fancy cuts to producing exceptional pieces in our cutting workshop. Today, our work requires extreme precision and a certain agility.

Our employees are also key to our success. They are deeply committed, embodying the spirit of our Maison and actively contributing to our creative approach. We stay open-minded with any new situation. This allows us to avoid becoming too steadfast and short-sighted, transforming our minds into a better channel for the creative energy that expresses itself through our actions and achievements.

In short, the flow of energy that manifests itself in our actions is precisely what people come to us for. This creative and passionate dynamic informs our daily lives and helps forge our unique identity.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

NDC: Why are natural diamonds important to Rubel & Ménasché?

SW: As far as I’m concerned, the only diamonds are natural diamonds. At Rubel & Ménasché, our desire is to combine the timeless magic of diamonds with respect for life, the living world and our planet, to make diamonds the finest expression of responsible luxury.

Diamonds are the only product that convey love in such a charming and dreamlike way. They are tears of joy in a wide smile. They’re love on your finger that stays with you forever. They’re an oath, a bond forever engraved. They’re the beginning of the happiness and wonder we hope our life brings, along a path filled with laughter. They’re love in its purest form.

In this ever-changing world, where everything evaporates, diamonds remain unchanging like a gentle chord that fills our souls. Yes… natural diamonds are irreplaceable and incomparable.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

Immerse yourself in the vast landscapes of Botswana, Namibia and other parts of Africa, you’d see the many development projects and dreams for the future that diamonds are helping to make a reality. They have a significant potential to do good. When used responsibly and ethically, natural diamonds are a major force for change within communities. It’s not always common knowledge, but we see evidence of this every day.

Today, we are privileged to have the Natural Diamond Council, an organization that knows how to get our voices heard in a fair and equitable way. The people who work there show unwavering dedication and are willing to push boundaries to advance the true image of our industry. They go above and beyond to highlight all that diamonds have to offer, from the mine to the jewelry that people wear. We are truly thankful to them for representing us with such heart and dedication. We’re lucky to have them all on board.

Then let’s travel to Mumbai and Surat, where the cutters would take turns convincing you of the good that diamonds do for them and their families. Being part of the diamond community at Rubel & Ménasché means taking part in an extraordinary adventure, a unique opportunity that is transforming lives and illuminating our world.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

NDC: Can you tell us about the close relationship you have with your customers?

SW: You know, this close relationship with our customer has only been possible because initially, we adopted the same approach with our partners. The manufacturing of our smaller goods and the rigorous quality of our sorting process are at the heart of our business. There is no room for error here. The demand for perfection, finesse and precision has enabled us to achieve the highest levels of quality, and we are constantly striving to innovate and improve our processes. Over 25 years ago, we introduced kit packaging to facilitate the work of gem setters and streamline the production chain. Even back then we were no longer content to just deliver the diamonds; we were becoming a genuine service provider.

We forge real ties throughout our value chain, and our strength lies in our ability to build bridges within our industry, enabling occasionally divergent interests to align so that we can move forward together. We are excellent listeners and have a unique gift for understanding beyond words. We express what our customers sometimes find hard to articulate, advising them, guiding them and putting their minds at rest by offering tailor-made solutions.

We are the third way… We stand out with a combination of traditional craftsmanship, technology, authenticity and innovation. We are the link that connects and ties all stakeholders in our industry, from the miner to the end customer. Every day, we re-evaluate our standards to strive for the excellence that so distinguishes our brand, with every employee bringing their passion to the collective effort.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

Our success lies in the credibility of our brand and the trust that our stakeholders place in us. Our relationship with our oldest customer has endured for almost 70 years, while our oldest partnership at the other end of the chain has been solid for 50 years. I told you we’re committed to building lasting relationships! Rubel & Ménasché really is unique!

NDC: What measures has Rubel & Ménasché taken to guarantee traceability? Why is this important to you?

SW: As we specialize in small goods, we bring a sharp focus to controlling our purchases of raw materials and our manufacturing process. With every product we stock for our customers, we manufacture from raw materials whose origins we carefully monitor.

We continually evaluate our traceability procedures in order to distinguish between volumes whose origins are proven in a documented and auditable way, and those with origins that are merely declarative. 

The aim of course, is to eliminate as much as possible the declarative in favor of the documented, which requires us to have a strong purchasing capacity and rigorous organization around manufacturing, in order to guarantee not only the required quality and quantity, but also compliance with deadlines.

Traceability is crucial to responsible sourcing. It allows risks to be identified and managed throughout the supply chain. At Rubel & Ménasché, we make sure that we control the entirety – and not just the majority – of our purchasing volumes, thereby guaranteeing that all the diamonds we sell are manufactured exclusively for us, in compliance with the strictest ethical practices.

In September in Hong Kong, we worked with Sarine and iTraceiT to present a new traceability method for small diamonds, reinforcing our commitment to transparency.

This transparency is fundamental to building total and mutual trust between all the players in our sector.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

Our business has historically been known for its discretion – a security-focused approach – but is now evolving towards total openness, which is essential if we are to tackle major issues such as respect for human rights and labor standards, as well as health and safety in the workplace.

We are committed to partners who share a common vision of ethics and responsibility, and who share our mindset. Only those prepared to fully commit to environmentally friendly and sustainable practices deserve a place in a supply chain that aspires to total integrity–not 99%, but 100%!

Our motto “Say what we do and do what we say” sums up this approach. By taking simple actions and using cutting-edge technologies, we are reinforcing our ethical practices, making transparency not just a tool, but the key to our integrity and success.

NDC: Why is the traceability of melee diamonds important or rare? Why does it matter to the consumer?

SW: The traceability of melee diamonds is important because they are an integral part of the final piece of jewelry. Should we really be satisfied with responsible practices for the central gemstone alone, while neglecting the smaller stones that accompany it?

And it is rare because it is more difficult to obtain; it requires considerable effort to guarantee the traceability of small goods that are often processed in batches throughout the supply chain. 

Unlike large stones that are processed individually, tracking each small stone requires sophisticated and innovative organizational systems.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché
Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

This more costly process has not yet been adopted by everyone, as buying on the “secondary market” is still common practice for those looking for the best prices.

At some point though, you have to make a choice: pay more for certainty, or continue to close your eyes on things?

At Rubel & Ménasché, the notion of traceability and natural diamonds has long been a reality. We didn’t wait for the G7 sanctions or other measures to reform our practices. For us, transformation is a constant state of mind, not a response to external pressures.

NDC: What sustainable development initiatives are you involved in (past or present)?

SW: Well firstly, for us, sustainable development is a collective and continuous effort to improve our footprint on the world and reconcile the growth of our Maison with social progress and the preservation of environmental balance. It means rethinking our habits and our businesses, and ensuring they chime with the required social commitments that we share with future generations.

Our sustainability policy is based on four interdependent cornerstones that guide our day-to-day actions: Responsible sourcing, Acting for the climate, Being socially exemplary, Preserving the “Savoir Faire.”

In concrete terms, this means launching innovative projects to improve the traceability of our diamonds and guarantee respect for fundamental human rights. It means accelerating the decarbonization of our business and integrating circularity into our practices, ensuring the health and well-being of our employees above and beyond the highest laws and standards, and passing on and promoting the rare craftmanship skills that are our hallmarks.

We involve our partners in our approach so that they can support our commitment and work with us to create a luxury sector that is ever more environmentally friendly.

Stephan Wolzok (c) Sophie Bourgeix

The transition to greater sustainability is a collective challenge, and its success can only be guaranteed if as many people as possible contribute. As a representative of an entire sector, Rubel & Ménasché aims to promote its commitments and expertise beyond its own walls, and is actively involved in a number of international initiatives.

For several years now, the Maison has been a signatory to the UN’s Global Compact and Women Empowerment Principles. To support the empowerment of women and advance equity in corporate partnerships, we have joined a working group on these issues with UN Women. To steer our decarbonization strategy, we have defined our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, green-lit by the Science Based Targets initiative.

In our own sector, we also joined the Watch & Jewellery Initiative 2030 in 2021. This working group brings together representatives from across the jewelry and watchmaking value chain to share best practices among its members and create common tools and benchmarks to give greater impetus to our actions.

As you’ll remember, the Maison became the fifth member of the Responsible Jewellery Council in 2010, and obtained its fifth certification in January 2022. We also joined the World Diamond Council in 2017.

Since 2013, we have been recognized as an “Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant” (Living Heritage Company – EPV), a label awarded by the French Ministry of Culture. This underlines our commitment to preserving historic expertise like cutting to the piece, a rare craft that is no longer taught in France today.

More broadly and indirectly, we support the initiatives of some of our partners to improve the well-being of their fellow human beings.

Courtesy of Rubel & Ménasché

NDC: What do you envision for the future of Rubel & Ménasché?

SW: I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think it is a bright one! We’re doing our utmost to teach our youngest employees the importance of innovation, while remaining faithful to our Maison’s DNA.

 It is crucial to combine innovation and tradition if we are to continue to wow our stakeholders.

We are constantly looking beyond the horizon, and are committed to strengthening our partnerships and creating more formal ties in order to secure our joint development and projects. We will continue to strive for sustainable, healthy growth that is part of something bigger than ourselves, part of a relationship with our fellow human beings where there’s a minimum standard of kindness.

Let’s continue honoring our profession and spreading the word outside the industry. By being upright and respecting others, we can lead the world and avoid our potential downfall.

We are driven by an energy that enables us to realize our goal of being the most desirable partner. And I do mean most desirable and not the largest, a partner you can rely on for your projects or cutting-edge developments. A partner who helps you think differently…

Learn more about Rubel & Ménasché at