Brian McHardy was born in 1953 in South Africa. His family history in the diamond industry dates back 4 generations to the late 1800’s, where his great-grandfather, William McHardy, was appointed the first general manager of Premier Diamond Mining Company at the newly discovered diggings at Cullinan in 1903. Premier Mine would become the world’s focus with the discovery of the largest gem quality rough diamond ever found, and still enjoys that distinction today. The prosperous mine would go on to produce many more large diamonds, and still today accounts for 25 % of world production. The McHardy House at Premier Mine in South Africa where four generations of McHardy’s have lived was declared a national monument in 1986. Family photographs still grace the walls and the furniture and decor have all been preserved and it is now open to the public.
William passed away in 1913, but not before grooming his son, Donald, for the job of general manager. Donald McHardy (Brian’s grandfather) was born at Premier Mine and remained at the helm of the company until Premier was bought out by the De beers Corporation in 1935. At this time he was commissioned by Sir Earnest Oppenheimer to become the resident director of De Beers operations at Kimberley to oversee the 7 mines reputed to be the richest diamond find in the world. His passing in 1965 marked 65 years of service to the company.
In the tradition of the family, Donald McHardy’s son James was born and raised at Premier Mine. After a formal education he entered the employ of DeBeers and began training as a diamond classifier. His keen eye would serve him well and he soon rose to the head of his department. His training would eventually take him to London in 1956 to train diamond sorters at the newly formed Central Selling Organization, the marketing arm of DeBeers.
Brian McHardy, son of James, was born and raised in South Africa and spent most of his formative years divided between Premier Mine at Cullinan and the mines at Kimberley. His exposure to the diamond industry led him on a course to pursue a career in diamond cutting. In 1969 he entered into a diamond cutting apprenticeship program with Gustave Katz, one of the most prestigious diamond cutting houses in the country at the time. He spent ten years at Katz honing his diamond skills in all aspects of the cutting industry.
Brian immigrated to America in 1980 after been offered an opportunity to run a diamond cutting facility in Los Angeles. In 1985 he started Premier Diamond Cutting Works which he still owns and operates today.
In addition, for the last fifteen years Brian has worked as a global trainer and master diamond cutter with the Hearts On Fire Company. He has been with them since its inception in 1996 as part of a team that developed in-store training programs designed to teach sales associates product differentiation and selling techniques. His passion for diamonds combined with forty 44 years of diamond cutting experience has enabled him to present the training programs in a concise and engaging manner. Brian has conducted training sessions and diamond cutting demonstration worldwide and has appeared on television programs including several segments of “Bill Nye, The Science Guy”, currently in syndication.
Brian has been married to his wife, Susan, for 38 years. He has 2 children and 4 grandchildren. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, music and travel.
For two days only, Michael C. Fina will be featuring the world’s largest collection of Hearts On Fire diamond jewelry. During the two day event, guests will have the chance to meet and speak to Brian McHardy. The event will take place at Michael C. Fina (500 Park Avenue) on February 12-13 from 10am to 7pm each day. To secure an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.