Beyond Survival

Israel's diamond industry offers an outstanding example of how to flourish in the face of potentially devastating change. Jewelers who worry about surviving in a volatile marketplace would do well to note how the Israelis keep their industry growing. By historical standards, the diamond industry in Israel should be in decline. Polished diamonds account for almost one-fifth of the country's exports, but no diamond mines lie within its borders. Periodic outbreaks of terrorist activity deter visitors for months afterward, and its labor force is neither endless nor cheap. The number of Israeli sightholders has declined since De Beers instituted its Supplier of Choice program, and rumor has it that it will lose even more when the latest list is released this month. Meanwhile, India, China, and, recently, Africa have taken away much of its cutting and polishing business. Yet the diamond co
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