Mickey fixed diamonds for Arizona jewelers even before he graduated as a Journeyman Diamond Cutter from the American School of Diamond Cutting in 1974. He is expert in all phases of diamond production including rough selection, planning, marking, shaping, cutting & polishing and final assessment – from round brilliants to the most complicated fancy shapes.
In 1977, shortly after earning Certification in Diamonds from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Mickey and fellow diamond cutter Danny McDonald established Brookshire McDonald Inc. in Phoenix. Their firm maintained an excellent reputation for fine craftsmanship as Arizona's only diamond cutting facility.
Mickey is uniquely talented in sourcing rough diamond crystals. His in-depth knowledge has literally been gained from the ground up. As early as 1978, Mickey began a lifetime project of exploring alluvial mining sites around the world with extensive travel to the indigenous diggings of West Africa.
As one of a select few fully-licensed diamond buyers in the 1980's, Mickey freely traded with diggers throughout Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. His persistence effectively shored-up their connections to wider global markets. In the process he gained precious hands-on expertise in excavating, panning, and dredging – the three back-breaking chores of alluvial prospecting – from the dry Marrikia Pit in Tongo, to the banks of the Sewa and Moa River, to 80 feet beneath the surface of the Bafi River.
In 1994, at the onset of civil strife and open warfare in Sierra Leone, Mickey moved operations to Guinea, complete with backhoes, larger-scale sluices and heavy media separation jigs. With a small buying office in Antwerp, he traded rough in Ghana, Tanzania, South Africa, Venezuela and Brazil.
Mickey has always remained very active in Arizona. In 1978, he trained his brother Jerry and brought him into the trade as a highly-skilled diamond cutter. Jerry went on to become the principal cutter at EightStar® diamonds, before returning to focus primarily on precision specialty cuts. With a fully-staffed and inventoried shop in Scottsdale, Mickey has long catered to discriminating clients throughout the US.
Mickey is a true pioneer and innovator. He has cut native diamond crystals from Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds and Colorado's Kelsey Lake Mine as well as the full range of Canadian diamonds. He was the first to cut gem quality lab-grown diamonds from Japan, and the first to cut a LifeGem diamond. He most recently put a finishing touch to the culet of the famous Archduke Joseph Diamond.
Today, Mickey is most excited about the future of new diamond designs. He has already fine-tuned the Bullseye Cut© and his work with the domed-series Celebration Cut diamonds continues to push the envelope of diamond beauty.