TEL AVIV – The International Diamond Week in Israel kicked off on Monday, bringing together dealers from all over the world who aspire to close multi-million dollar transactions.
The three-day major event was held at the trading floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange, where dozens of experts with magnifying glasses hanging from their necks were stopping at stalls to check out the new trends.
“I am from Florence and I attend this great meeting every year,” Andreas, an Italian jeweler who had just purchased three stones, told EFE.
“It is all about what the market demands. The latest trend is colored diamonds and I just bought a yellow one and a pink one,” he added.
Additionally, one of the sellers, Mrs. Roseblum, selected fluorescent stones for a shopper, saying: “This old buyer likes fluorescents. Those diamonds are not appreciated by everyone because of their blue light reflection.”
“But it is exactly what this buyer likes and always comes to me to buy them,” she added.
Israeli-Brazilian expert Oded Lugassy explained that Israel had traditionally been a major center for buying and selling diamonds because most of the cutters were there, but India had taken its place in recent years as it was offering cheaper labor costs.
“Today, no diamond seller ignores the origin of the stones. This remains very strict,” Lugassy said, adding that the supervision was exhaustive.
On the future of the diamond trade, Sharon Gefen, public relations director for the Israel Diamond Institute, told EFE that the boom in online shopping had forced them to catch up with the market’s demands.
“In fact, we already have an agreement with Ali Baba (a China-based online retailer) and you can make purchases online,” Gefen said.
One of the market challenges is trying to make diamonds appealing for Millennials, the generation born late last century, according to Gefen.
“Millennials buy fewer diamonds than the previous generation. We are looking for new ways to attract them,” she added.
One of those ways is innovative diamond jewelry.
In addition to the diamonds exhibited individually at the Israel Diamond Exchange, there was a section dedicated to jewelry with stones of different sizes and colors.
Some of those have rare 20- or 30-carat diamonds worth up to $1 million.
Among the dealers participating were businesspeople from India, Italy, the United States, Israel and Asia.