Businessman

Geshe Michael´s experience in business began at Princeton, where he worked as the student manager of the Express Reunion Agency, overseeing a small fleet of trucks and employees which provided all the university freight and moving services. In 1981, his teacher Khen Rinpoche directed him to begin a business in Manhattan in order to help support Tibetan refugees. Following a meditative vision and the text of an ancient Buddhist classic, The Diamond Cutter Sutra, Geshe Michael helped Ofer and Aya Azrielant–two entrepreneurs from Israel–to start the Andin International Diamond Corporation.

Andin started with a $50,000 loan and only two or three employees. By the time Geshe Michael retired from the firm in 1999 as Vice President in charge of the Gemstone Division, sales had grown in excess of $100 million per year, and Geshe Michael´s division was handling over 30,000 diamonds on a good day. Andin eventually acquired the world´s most desirable gemstone website (jewelry.com), and reached over $200 million in sales, with thousands of employees in its supply operations globally, before it was purchased by Warren Buffet´s Richline Group in 2009.

During this period, Geshe Michael earned the Graduate Gemologist degree of the Gemological Institute of America, and during the 1980´s served on the editorial board of the Institute´s journal, Gems & Gemology, contributing studies of Soviet diamond research translated from the Russian. He has served as a consultant for the DeBeers Group, and was elected a member of the prestigious Diamond Dealers Club of New York. He has also been named a fellow of the Gemmological Society of Great Britain, and in recent years has been a regular contributor to IDEX, the magazine of the International Diamond Exchange. He was one of the earliest researchers of laboratory-grown diamond and is a proponent of its use in jewelry, to prevent the ecological destruction and political violence stemming from the mining of natural diamond.