Bigger and Better than Ever: A Summary of IDWI 2020
The International Diamond Week in Israel (IDWI), which opened Monday, closed on Wednesday after three days full of trading, panels and industry events. The 2020 edition was the largest, most successful event of its kind so far, proving once again its significance as a major event on the diamond industry’s yearly calendar.
First Day: IDWI Opens to a Full House
The International Diamond Week in Israel opened Monday to a packed exhibition hall, with over 300 international buyers from 18 countries in attendance. Among the 300 buyers from around the world were 110 buyers who arrived in Israel for the first time. The show featured more than $1 billion worth of diamonds.
Watch a video summary of Day 1:
The show opened with a ceremony attended by diamond leaders from around the world including Alrosa President Sergei Ivanov, WFDB President Ernie Blom, CIBJO President Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, Bharat Diamond Bourse VP Mehul Shah, Dubai’s DDMC Executive Chairman and CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem, London Diamond Exchange President Alan Cohen and Honorary President of the World Diamond Council Eli Izhakoff.
The event was also attended by Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama Hacohen, and Israeli diamond leaders: Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash, Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (ISDMA) President Jacob Korn, Israel Diamond Institute (IDI) Chairman Boaz Moldawsky and Chairman of the IDWI 2020 Ezra Boaron.
In his opening remarks IDE President Yoram Dvash said, “I am delighted to see all the distinguished guests who came from Israel and abroad. This year, a record number of buyers and delegations from around the world have arrived here.” He said that the total number of participants would have been larger, but that due to the emergency declared in China, many of the East Asian buyers were not able to attend. “We all hope that the Chinese will soon be able to control the spread of the corona virus and that the entire world will breathe a sigh of relief.”
Dvash added, “We are at the beginning of 2020 and we very much hope that this year will be one of recovery in the markets. In light of the reductions in rough allocation by some producers, shortages have been created and demand for certain goods has grown. This is certainly a step that will allow an adjustment in the global levels of rough and polished goods. We hope that this trend will continue in the coming months, and will create new opportunities for the world diamond industry. ”
The first day of IDWI closed with an address given by Martin Rapaport, President of the Rapaport Group, titled “Making Challenges into Opportunities.” Rapaport spoke of the importance of upholding values in marketing diamonds, especially to the younger generations who wish to make the world a better place. He called upon the diamond producers to reduce prices of rough diamonds by 30% to ensure market liquidity and to invest larger sums in generic marketing. Rapaport also spoke of the power of diamonds, saying “diamonds mean something because they are worth something,” and called on diamantaires to sell value and meaning rather than sparkle.
Watch Martin Rapaport’s address:
Day 2: Panels, Exhibitions and the “Israeli Experience”
The second day of the show featured a fascinating professional panel about trends in the diamond industry, unveiling of the Moriah Collection, and an “Israeli Experience” that combined good music and food in a more informal setting.
After a busy day of trading, Rapaport’s senior analyst and news editor Avi Krawitz hosted a panel on trends in the diamond industry. Participants included Sarine Technologies CEO David Block, WFDB President Ernie Blom, Alrosa’s Alexey Tikhonov, Israel’s Diamond Controller Ofir Gur and diamond trader Emanuel Namdar.
Watch the panel on trends in the diamond industry:
In addition, the Moriah Collection was unveiled in an event attended by IDE President Yoram Dvash, Chairman of the Exhibition Committee Ezra Boaron and the collection creator Avi Tavisal. Distinguished guests included the three Israeli paratroopers depicted in the iconic photograph from 1967, shortly after the recapture of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem by Israeli forces in the Six-Day War. The three paratroopers were photographed next to a statue depicting the moment.
Day two closed with an event titled “The Israeli Experience”: An informal social event featuring live music and Israeli dishes, which enabled hosts and guests to mingle and get to know each other better.
Day 3: An Address on Diamond Trading
Day three of the show was marked by vigorous traffic on the trading floor, and closed with a lecture by Oded Edelman, CEO of R2Net and James Allen about the role of e-commerce in selling diamonds. Following the lecture, the guests attended a celebratory Happy Hour marking the close of the successful three-day show.