On the eve of its 69th Independence Day, Israel is considered a global diamond hub for both trade and manufacturing of polished diamonds.
According to the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) website, the diamond industry in Israel took its first steps as early as 1936, after the British Mandate government “waived the customs levy on diamond imports to Israel” – and the diamond industry became active and started to develop.
The first diamond polishing plant was established in 1937. Less than 20 years later, in 1956, Israel was chosen as the venue for the International Congress of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB). In 1960, Ramat Gan was chosen as the permanent and official seat of the Israel Diamond Exchange and in 1968 the first building was inaugurated. Today, the IDE is the largest diamond bourse in the world, providing all services under one roof – from security and financial services to costumes, banks and even a synagogue. According to the IDE, the complex “covers an area of about 80,000 square meters housing approximately 1,050 diamond offices”.
According to recent data, the diamond industry is one of Israel’s leading export industrie. According to the IDE, rough diamond imports run to approximately $5 billion per year, which accounts about 40% of the total world rough diamond production.
Israel diamond exports total about $10 billion per year, $7 billion of which are polished diamonds. Israel’s main markets for polished diamonds are the US, Hong Kong and Europe.
According to the IDE, 40% of the polished diamonds exported abroad is polished in Israel.