DIAMONDS EXCHANGE
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Rough diamonds are mined across 4 continents and sorted, in London, into more than 5,000 categories. The rough is then distributed to the cutting centers and to dealers worldwide.

The major diamond manufacturing centers include Israel, Belgium, India (Mumbai and Surat), China and New York; cutting and polishing also takes place in South Africa, Botswana, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mauritius.

Integrity, trust, and tradition are the qualities on which the industry is based. Buying, selling, making connections and contacts, meeting new people - that's what it's all about. The business is premised on knowing where to find the right goods - from the right seller - for the right buyer - and being there at the right time, and, of course, with the right price.

The Diamond Exchange is at the center - with the purpose of protecting the integrity and interests of the trade - which is, probably, the major reason why the industry has succeeded as well as it has. Diamond people have a long tradition of cooperating with one another for the common good, within the framework of the Bourse, even though they may compete against one another on the global markets on a day-to-day basis. Each Bourse (with its own infrastructure, constitution and by-laws, and strict requirements for membership) has its own interesting history. Underlined by the relative simplicity of a verbal agreement (mazal u'bracha) and a handshake, the Bourse preserves the code of "mazal u'bracha" which is central to the traditions of the diamond business.
In today's global business world, this sense of continuity and commitment to business ethics has proven itself to be quite invaluable. Although, at times, it might be seen as "sentimental", it's a sense of history that is actually quite convenient in the new economics, changes, and the ongoing evelopments that are taking place in the diamond business.

 

There are more than 20 Bourses worldwide (including 2 active Bourses in Israel, 4 in Antwerp, 2 in Johannesburg, 1 active Club in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Milan, Idar-Oberstein, Paris, Vienna, London, Amsterdam, Singapore, Bangkok), affiliated with the World Federation of Diamond Bourses which is based in Antwerp.

ANTWERP DIAMOND EXCHANGE

Antwerp, an important diamond cutting center since the 15th century, replaced Amsterdam as the "capital" of the diamond industry trade after WWII, and is now considered the principle trading center in this diverse global industry.

World War II had a dramatic effect on it as a diamond center because the industry literally disintegrated when Jewish diamantaires were forced to leave Belgium. Some of the more fortunate were able to establish themselves in the USA, Cuba, Great Britain, and Palestine; after the war, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, Antwerp re-established itself as a major force in the international diamond community.

 The "Club", the oldest bourse in Antwerp, set a precedent with its arbitration board. Members of the Diamantclub van Antwerpen first met (as a traders society) in 1886 at the Cafe Flora, and later moved to a residence on Simonsstraat in 1892. By 1910, the "Club" had been rebuilt three times. In 1969, an eleven floor building was built at 62 Pelikaanstraat.

Established in 1898 as the "Diamond Casino" which met at 36 Pelikaanstraat, the
Beurs voor Diamanthandel was founded in 1904 and incorporated as a cooperative business; by 1929 there were more than 2,000 members. Built in 1921, the original building 78 Pelikaanstraat)was expanded in 1957, and extended through to Hoveniersstraat in 1970.
Founded in 1911, and established as the
Vrije Diamanthandel in 1919, this exchange was primarily a meeting place for the manufacturers from the Kempen district (who first met in a cafe on Pelikaanstraat belonging to Jos Springer). The Vrije's original building was destroyed in 1944. It is now located, as a separate entity, in the Diamantclub.
As the rough trade developed, a separate Exchange for rough was required, so the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was established by dealers who first met at the Fortunia Building, and later moved, in 1930, to the Klein House at 86 Pelikaanstraat. In 1941, the German occupying force ordered the Kring to give up its premises and members found a temporary location at the Beurs. The Kring reopened in 1947, and, since 1986, has been located in the ADC building on Hoveniersstraat.
Although trading is still conducted in the trading halls (trading floors) of the respective Bourses, most of the "buying and selling" transactions take place in one of the offices in Antwerp's well protected, inter-connected streets, Hoveniersstraat, Schupstraat, and Rijfstraat. Some of the buildings on Hoveniersstraat also have entrances from Pelikaanstraat.

ISRAEL DIAMOND EXCHANGE

Ramat Gan became the diamond center of Israel when the first building of the Diamond Exchange was built there in 1968. Petach Tikva was the site of the first polishing unit, set up in 1937, 11 years before the State was declared. Netanya was the country's primary diamond cutting center for many years. There are manufacturing facilities in many cities throughout the country including Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, B'nai Brak, Jerusalem, Safed, and Nazareth.
Well known for fancy shapes and all sizes and qualities of rounds, Israel is one of the major diamond manufacturing centers. It is also trying to establish itself as a serious rough trading center. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has granted "Free Trade" status to the part of the bourse trading floor that was set aside for the trade in rough.
Approximately 1,200 diamond companies are located in Ramat Gan in the Israel Diamond Exchange complex. The 4 buildings of the complex,
Shimshon, Maccabi, Noam and the Diamond Tower, are located on 2 parallel streets, Jabotinsky and Bezalel, and are connected to one another through a series of internal pedestrian bridges. There is a very high level of security within the buildings, and ID tags must be worn at all times.

Ramat Gan is approximately a 1/2 hour drive (depending on traffic) from the Ben Gurion International Airport, and 10 minutes from Tel Aviv and the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea.
There are 2 Diamond Exchanges in Ramat Gan.
 - The Israel Diamond Exchange was first established in the late 1930's (before the founding of the State), as an answer to the need for a safe place to trade diamonds. Prior to this, diamonds were traded in private homes and cafes in the vicinity of Ahad Ha'am Street in Tel Aviv. The Exchange moved to Ramat Gan, in 1968, with the opening of the Shimshon Building. The Maccabi Building was built in the early 1980's, and, in 1993, the Diamond Tower was opened.
 - The Israel Precious Stones and Diamond Exchange Ltd., located on the 1st floor of the Maccabi Building, is where traders in emeralds, sapphires, tanzanite, semi-precious stones, and pearls meet. There are a number of emerald polishing plants in the diamond district behind the Bourse.

NEW YORK DIAMOND DEALERS CLUB

The New York Diamond Dealers Club was established in lower Manhattan in 1931, in the middle of the worst economic depression in American history. At that time, the idea of venturing into a new business seemed absurd to most, yet a small group of forward-thinking diamantaires chose to initiate the first big step for a New York-based diamond trade association. They were convinced that American diamond dealers should follow the lead of their European colleagues and organize a secure, private exchange for their trading.

World War II caused many European dealers to immigrate to the United Sates, thereby expanding the numbers of the Diamond Dealers Club. In the post war years, the U.S. diamond trade took on a bustling, thriving character. As the Club developed and expanded, it outgrew its space. The Club was forced to move several times to accommodate its increasing number of members.

In the 1940's, the Club decided to move to a West 47th Street location, uptown and away from its mainstream of business. By 1956, the Diamond Dealers Club experienced space problems again. The trading floor was greatly enlarged, and made more comfortable for the membership. In 1985, the Club moved to its current location at 11 West 47th Street where it occupies spacious quarters that include a trading floor, modern communications, administrative space, and restaurant facilities.

As the Club's presence grew on 47th Street, the number of jewelry and diamond businesses increased overwhelmingly. Within a few years, the street was well on its way to becoming the highly concentrated display of diamonds and diamond jewelry that it is today - probably the largest in the world. Indeed, 47th Street is now marked by signs identifying it as Diamond & Jewelry Way, since more than 2,000 businesses devoted to the diamond and jewelry industry are conveniently located in the heart of Manhattan. 

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