Rapaport Magazine


By Sarah Manning
Rocky Road Ahead

The Israeli diamond industry is hoping that 2015 will be a good year but it is not expecting an easy one. “Business is moving, but slower than a year ago. My clients in America are saying that their customers are buying jewelry directly online, so their business is shrinking,” said Motty Goren, chief executive officer (CEO) of Gal Diamonds. Gal specializes in the supply of round diamonds weighing 1.20 carats to 5 carats and in larger fancy shapes.
   Yoram Dvash, founder and CEO of Y. Dvash Diamonds, reported that, despite a strong start to 2014, trade slowed in the fourth quarter. “For a few years now, we have seen stronger trading between January and June than between July and December,” he said. “High rough diamond prices made life difficult for us in 2014, but I believe that we will see a correction in the market in early 2015. Suppliers have been put under pressure not to raise prices, so I am optimistic that we will see the market stabilize in 2015.”
   Shlomo Shimshowitz of Dov Diamonds is concerned about the differential between current market prices and the reduced polished prices on the Rapaport List. “During the final weeks of 2014, we saw that the large companies in Israel and India were maintaining their polished prices and not reducing them in line with the list,” he said. “It is not realistic to expect that prices will be cut across the board — there are always goods being bought and sold for different prices. We are confident that the demand for diamonds will continue to increase as the world’s population grows, so we are continuing to trade as usual.”

Investing in the Future
   The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has set up another new project to give 40 young diamantaires the opportunity to buy rough diamonds every month from De Beers through Panford Ltd. Nonsightholder businesses have been able to purchase De Beers rough diamonds since August 2014, but this is the first time that a special allocation has been offered to a group selected by the IDE Industry Committee and Panford General Manager Dudi Shiama. The monthly allocation will be worth up to $200,000 and Panford will be giving the young diamantaires 60 days credit, with the understanding that the diamonds will be cut in Israel.
   The project is being coordinated by Dvash, who explained: “With this pilot program, we are investing in the future of the industry by giving novice traders under the age of 40 the opportunity to develop their experience with rough diamonds. We hope that other rough dealers will join the program, which will help them develop a new customer base among the next generation of diamantaires.”

Israel Diamond Week
   Israel’s International Diamond Week will take place in Ramat Gan from February 8 to 12, 2015. It is organized by IDE and the New York Diamond Dealers Club (DDC), and, for the first time, in cooperation with the Antwerp Diamond Bourse. Ernest Blom, president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), said invitations have been sent to the members of all 29 other bourses affiliated with the WFDB.
   “Israel’s International Diamond Week is now in its third year and is generating a growing interest among diamond buyers from around the world,” said Shmuel Schnitzer, IDE president. Originally devised to breathe new life into the trading floor, Israel’s International Diamond Week has grown into the largest “inter-bourse” trading fair in the world, with some 400 Israeli companies displaying their goods, and many hundreds of buyers making the rounds to meet them and place orders.
   A previous International Diamond Week in Israel took place in February 2014. The summer meeting planned for August 2014 was canceled at the last moment due to regional tensions. Diamond Week participants attending the February event will be able to stay in hotels near the diamond bourse free of charge for four nights.

Inaugurating the New Center
   IDE’s new diamond manufacturing facility, known as the Modern Manufacturing Center (MMC), will be inaugurated during International Diamond Week. A joint initiative of IDE, the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA) and the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI), the plant provides independent diamond manufacturers with sophisticated diamond manufacturing facilities and training for a new generation of diamond cutters.
   “The MMC was born out of necessity as well as a sense of unity between our industry bodies,” said Dvash, chairman of IDE’s Industry and Marketing Committee. “We all saw the need for a top-rate training facility for a new generation of diamond cutters and polishers, and our single-mindedness has enabled it to happen.”
   The center is equipped with the latest sawing and laser cutting machinery. The first class of diamond polishers and cutters graduates in January and the courses are heavily oversubscribed. Trainees receive six months of salary support and money to buy tools, in return for their commitment to work for at least one year for their company sponsor.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - January 2015. To subscribe click here.

Comment Comment Email Email Print Print Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Share Share