US and International Diamond Week kicks off in Israel
August 26th, 2013 by Noam Flint
An entire week devoted to diamonds is any gemstone collector’s dream, and it is happening right now in Israel. The U.S. and International Diamond Week kicked off its second year Monday, Aug. 26, at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) in Ramat Gan, and opening day saw more than 1,000 guests and over 500 international buyers from 22 countries.
“Look around you, this is an extraordinary sight,” said IDE President Yair Sahar, according to the exchange’s website. “We had no idea the response would be so overwhelming.”
The Israeli Diamond Exchange Trading Floor – Image by the IDI
Hundreds of vendors offer their wares
Rapaport reported (Diamonds.net) that there are about 28 U.S. diamond sellers and 365 Israeli companies with booths at the expo. Between all of these sellers, Sahar told the news source he estimates there are billions of dollars of diamonds available for sale, starting at 1 carat. Prominent diamond sellers like De Beers, the Diamond Dealer’s Club (DDC) of New York and Rio Tinto will all be showcasing precious gemstones. The selection of gems is sure to encompass a full spectrum from traditional white diamonds to the rarer and increasingly popular color diamonds.
While the majority of gems available at the expo will already be cut, buyers will have the opportunity to view and purchase rough, uncut stones as well. ALROSA, the largest diamond mining company in Russia, will be holding a rough diamond tender throughout the event. The individual diamonds on hand will all be at least 10.8 carats, which is sure to help encourage guests to stop by Archos Diamonds, where the company will be displaying its gems, and view the selection during the event.
“Israel’s diamond expertise, experience and abilities in diamond manufacturing remain unparalleled,” said Sahar. “Therefore, to sustain and develop our industry, we are consistently and continuously seeking not only to increase our supply of rough but also diversify it the best we can.”
No diamond show is complete without auctions
While buyers are sure to find plenty of valuable gems to add to their collections simply by browsing the tradeshow floor, those looking for something truly noteworthy will want to hold out for the auctions taking place this week. On Monday morning, Tzoffey’s 1818 Auction House held the first preview of its auction, which will include rough diamonds as well as natural colored diamonds, other colored gemstones and jewelry. The Israeli diamond exchange will preview the auction items every day until the auction kicks off at 4:30 p.m. at the Cullinan Restaurant. Interested buyers will be able to bid on gems like a 50-carat, cushion-shaped fancy yellow diamond, according to Jewellery News Asia.
Photo courtesy of US & International Diamond Week
Tzoffey’s is not the only seller planning to auction off precious stones this week. De Beers, Rio Tinto, the Rapaport Group, I. Hennig-Fusion and many other prominent dealers will also be holding auctions throughout the four-day event.
It’s not all about the diamonds
While the entire purpose of this massive expo is the sale of diamonds and other precious stones, those in attendance will have more to do than peruse the vendors’ wares. There will be lectures and presentations by special guests, including Israel’s Minister of Tourism, Dr. Uzi Landau. There will also be cocktail hours and musical guests to keep the event fun and exciting.
Given the success this diamond expo has seen in its first day alone, it stands to reason that more will follow in its wake. In fact, U.S. diamond buyers may want to prepare for a trip to New York in November, as the IDE and DDC will be hosting the second annual Israel Diamond Week that month. Individuals looking to invest in white or colored diamonds can attend these and other similar events to get a feel for the industry and learn more about the precious gems.