Israel: Ramat Gan towers, top diamond exchange center

Turnover worth 28 bln dollars. 300 colored diamonds

08 April, 17:56

    Rainbow collection, 300 diamanti colorati dal valore inestimabile Rainbow collection, 300 diamanti colorati dal valore inestimabile

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV- Four towers in Israel represent a miniature, high-security and high-tech city - the Israeli Diamond Exchange, home to one of the world's major diamond exchanges in Ramat Gan, the commercial outskirts of Tel Aviv. Almost 1,500 firms with 2,200 offices - based on the principle ''all on the same floor'' - which in 2013 produced a turnover of 28 billion dollars with exports in the same period of rough and cut diamonds worth 10 billion dollars mainly to the US (37% for cut diamonds) and Hong Kong (29%).
    The trade of rough diamonds alone is worth eight billion dollars a year for 30 million carats. The towers of Ramat Gan are a private giant - though supervised by the economy ministry's 'Diamond Controller' - making up 20% of all Israeli industrial exports.
    This miniature city with restaurants, synagogues, banks (six, including the State Bank of India), emergency room, stores and gyms, has just opened up for the 'US &International Diamond week' event. This edition features the extraordinary 'Rainbow Collection' of Belgian jeweler Eddy Elzas.
    Three hundred colored diamonds of incredible value which ''make your legs tremble'', according to a visitor who saw them after endless security checks including having his finger scanned.
    ''Synthetic diamonds don't exist here'', President Shmuel Schnitzer, the king of this floor full of buyers, salesmen, brokers, cutting artists and gem experts, told ANSA. ''This is not because we despise them but just because we deal with natural ones''.
    In what is the world's top diamond exchange along with Anthwerp, contained in just one floor, the stone is followed in all its passages, starting with traceability based on the 'Kimberley Process', an international agreement of certification which guarantees that profits from diamond trade are not used to fund civil wars. Such gems are called 'conflict-free'.
    ''We are part of the world federation of diamond exchanges and the World Diamond Council which represents the industry in the Kimberley Process'', said the center's director Moti Besser.
    ''And we play a leading role in these international organizations''.
    If India has become a main cutting center, the towers of Ramat Gan are vying for ''quality and the Israeli industry is at the top in this sector'', said Schnitzer.
    Created in 1937 by six pioneers, the Israeli diamond industry during the Second World War was the only manufacturing centre active in the world and the only client of De Beers for rough diamonds, a brooder of the market since 1988 in South Africa.
    And it was during the Gulf war in 1991 - when Saddam Hussein's scuds targeted Ramat Gan - that Israelis in the diamond industry opened offices worldwide with an aggressive marketing approach: overall 55,000 today, including those abroad.
    Italy could not miss such an event: a guest of honour on Tuesday was jeweller and designer Roberto Coinc ''among the most well known worldwide'', said Schnitzer. (ANSAmed).

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