History Of The Israeli Diamond Industry
The history of the diamond industry in Israel is linked to the history of the Jewish People in Eretz Israel.
The idea of building a diamond industry in Eretz Israel was conceived as early as 1905, while the Zionist Congress convened. Belgian and Dutch Jews proposed to teach the diamond profession in Eretz Israel to orphans from the Kishinev pogrom, in an effort to assist the community.
Five years later, in 1910, entrepreneurs in Antwerp purchased polishing machines which they then sent to Jerusalem. However, they were pressured to abandon the idea of establishing a diamond center which would compete with Antwerp, and the machines were put in storage. 30 years later, the machines were taken out of storage, moved to Tel Aviv and put to work. The industry began to work as such only towards the end of the 1930s.
We present you with salient points in the history of the diamond industry. The information is based on material published by the “HaYahlom” magazine and the book “The Diamond in the Crown – The History of the Diamond Exchange”.
In the 1960's the Diamond Exchange moves to its new venue in Ramat Gan. The Israel Diamond Institute is founded and a new polishing machine is developed. A picture of a diamond appears on an Israeli stamp for the first time, and for the first time a diamond company wins the title of the Best Exporter of the year
In the 1970s organizations and institutions are established, like the Precious Stones Exchange, Nila – an organization of women diamantaires for volunteer activities, the Jewellery Manufacturers Association, and a Gemological Institute. In 1977, for the first time the value of polished diamonds export from Israel exceeds billion dollars