Raffi Stepanian is an urban diamond miner

Man finds €750 worth of diamonds, on the streets, every week.

Raffi Stepanian, a 43 year old New Yorker, is one of the most peculiar professionals out there. His day-to-day? Skimming ditches, streets and gutters, in search of diamonds, gold and precious gems. Armed with a butter knife and some tweezers, he thoroughly investigates every dirty little crack in sidewalks. With proven success, apparently he sells his weekly plunder for around €750.

  • 1.55 carat diamond halo earrings in white gold From USD 4.390
    (excl. VAT)
  • 1.20 carat solitaire diamond ring in white gold with side diamonds From USD 3.670
    (excl. VAT)
  • 0.50 carat solitaire ring in white gold with princess diamond and side diamonds From USD 2.280
    (excl. VAT)
  • 0.50 carat solitaire ring (half set) in yellow gold with side diamonds From USD 3.310
    (excl. VAT)

Sloppy diamantairs

Stepanian likes to call himself a ‘freelance gemstone designer’ or ‘urban miner’. His unusual job is quite profitable but how do these precious stones end up in our city streets? According to Stepanian, small diamonds and such fall out of the clothes of the people working in the local diamondsector. Getting kicked around until they eventually stick to bubblegum on the street or sidewalk.

Diamonds, rubies and gold

The man comes home every week with a sizable amount of diamonds, rubies and gold. Most of them are spotted in ditches and trenches but sometimes he takes it one step further, sieving mud from the street the same way traditional gold diggers do. He usually sells his findings to the same people that dropped them initially: the local jewelers.

Diamonds, a gift of God

Is it a smart move to tell people about the secret to your business? Stepanian is not worried, he is confident he has a special ability to spot the small gems. He recently recorded an instructional video introducing his peculiar profession to the world. The possibility that others will be struck by gold fever doesn’t scare him. Every little precious stone he finds is considered a ‘gift from God’ for all the hardship he has come across in his lifetime.

Do it the easy way

Not up for skimming the streets on your hands and knees? Have a look at BAUNAT’s E-boutique, the reference for affordable diamond jewellery for over 3 generations. Diamond necklaces, bracelets, earrings, engagement rings… Feast your eyes and order online at the best rates on the market. 

Written by: CHLOÉ POUPON-DUMONTET Diamond Jewellery Advisor

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