The Israel Diamond Exchange celebrated its 70th anniversary Sunday night at a gala event in the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv with the participation of thousands of diamantaires from Israel and abroad.
Special guests included Israel’s minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai; Ramat Gan Mayor Zvi Bar; DTC managing director Varda Shine; chairman of the World Diamond Council Eli Izhakoff; CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri, and representatives from diamond exchanges in China, the U.S., and Europe.
Avi Paz, president of IDE and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, said their participation was a tribute to the importance of the Israeli diamond center within the world diamond industry.
“At this time we must maintain our optimism,” Paz said. “What we achieved over the past 70 years did not come easily! Our industry has gone through difficult times as well as periods of huge success and prosperity. At this time it is especially important to act with determination, optimism and cool-headedness.”
Paz called upon Yishai to act immediately to ensure that the government’s emergency economic plan provides solutions for diamantaires harmed by the world economic crisis.
Yishai said that he would continue to do everything in his power to support the diamond industry.
“Your leadership is a very special one—filled with wisdom, professionalism and modesty,” Yishai said. “You pursue your vocation with resoluteness and during this difficult time you are showing vision, determination and conviction. I believe in your abilities and I will always be at your service in all positions that I will hold.”
One of the highlights of the evening was the bestowal of Honorary Membership in the Israel Diamond Exchange to DTC’s Shine.
“Varda Shine is a pioneer in the global diamond industry,” Paz said. “She is the only woman in the history of IDE to receive Honorary Membership. Varda is an excellent professional, a keen businesswoman, and above all a true friend of the Israel Diamond Exchange and the entire Israeli Diamond Industry.”
“It is a great honor for me to receive this title and I feel proud to be the first woman to hold it,” Shine said. “The Israel Diamond Exchange has all it needs to succeed. Thanks to your human capital, entrepreneurship and strength you will know how to continue your path forward. We must all learn from the diamond during this period – to be transparent, clear and strong.”
Shine reiterated that De Beers would significantly reduce the supply of rough diamonds in the near future and stressed that especially in these times it is important to remain optimistic.
“The future of the diamond looks excellent, largely because there are no new mines in the world and the diamond is becoming rarer and rarer,” Shine said. “At the same time, research is showing that during 2011 a growth in demand for diamonds is expected in countries with a developing middle class.”