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Hundreds of Diamond Dealers Stream Into Israel for Two Billion Dollar Trade Bonanza

Reuters reports this morning on the aftermath of a four-day show conducted last week by the Israel Diamond Exchange, which is looking to become a global hub for the industry. The outlet took pains to emphasize that the show was not a small event:

Hundreds of companies crowded the world’s biggest diamond trading floor on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, where buyers, under heavy security and armed with eye loupes, ambled through rows of tables that displayed $2 billion of precious stones. It was the largest event the exchange had held. Official figures were not made public, but Yair Sahar, president of the exchange, said sales were in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and he expected the show to provide a $2 billion boost by the end of the year.

A video from the event is embedded below.

More than 500 firms were in attendance, and attendees came from as far afield as China and India. Reuters had had already covered the show from a different angle, emphasizing a slow but detectable resurgence in interest and demand from the United States.

Israel is a world leader in seeking to ensure that the diamond trade remains ethical. It is deeply involved – and at one point it formally led – international efforts to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the global marketplace.

Israel is also an established leader in producing polished diamonds. Its first diamond polishing plant, in Petah Tikva, dates to the arrival of Jewish refugees from Holland in 1937. Ramat Gan’s Diamond District comprises four main buildings, one of which – the Moshe Aviv Tower – is Israel’s tallest.

[Photo: Kim Alaniz / Flickr]