The Israeli Diamond Industry honored Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the world diamond industry.
Past and current leaders of the Israeli industry, including representatives from the Israel Diamond Institute and Israeli Diamond Exchange, gathered at a dinner in Tel Aviv to present the award.
“This unique award is of the utmost significance to our industry,” Eli Avidar, IDI managing director, said in a statement. “It represents our supreme appreciation of one who has dedicated his or her life’s work to advancing the industry that we hold so dear.”
Oppenheimer’s family has controlled De Beers for three generations. Last November, the family announced it was selling its De Beers stake to Anglo American.
Referring to that decision, Oppenheimer said, “It comes to the point that we can step aside. It is not easy at all… In my head I knew it was the right thing although my heart might feel differently… We know that we leave the Israeli industry and De Beers in good shape… Even if we are not invested in the diamond industry we will follow it with great expectations.”
Oppenheimer also met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.