Category Archives: Diamonds

An Artist’s Fast Fingers

My boss Manny started selling jewelry on Canal Street in 1954. He says that he didn’t sell his first diamond until a year later. “Back then all diamonds were white. We didn’t know any better and better still neither did the Gs.” Manny’s speech is colored by hundreds of diamond selling terms interspersed with Yiddish. […]

BET ON CRAZY 4 / FIRST SALE by Peter Nolan Smith

The day after Super Bowl XXIV, I paid off two months?rent with my winnings. Everyone in the exchange was richer thanks to betting the other way from Manny. They ribbed him relentlessly for having lost yet another bet on the NFL championship game. I said nothing since Manny had confided that he had bet on the […]

TOUGH GUYS / BET ON CRAZY by Peter Nolan Smith

Brownsville has always been a tough section of Brooklyn. The one-mile square neighborhood was actually tougher than tough. Its unofficial motto “Brownsville! Never ran, never will!” guaranteed Kings County Hospital the title of the most gunshot victims admitted to a E.R in the USA. The US Army even set up a training program called the […]

11:59PM – bet on crazy

The Friday before Christmas was the Winter Solstice. I stopped by the diamond exchange on 47th Street. There were no customers in sight. Only the rich have money and the vast majority of the .00001 had fled south for Palm Beach or St. Bart’s. Richie Boy was working with a wealthy friend, asking $260,000 for […]

KOSHER CHINESE FOOD by Peter Nolan Smith

After Valentine’s Day business on 47th Street slowed to a halt. The rich were vacationing in St. Barts and Palm Beach. Oil bills bled normal New Yorkers to the bone and purchasing a diamond was the last thing on most people’s mind in a bad economy during the harshest winter in modern memory. Hlove the […]