Israel Diamond Exchange
Israel Diamond Exchange Ltd., located in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, is the world's largest diamond exchange. The exchange is a private company that incorporates about 2800 diamantaires members, which are engaged in diamond trading, cutting, marketing, brokerage, import and export.
The exchange operates from a complex of four buildings in area known as the Diamond Exchange District; the buildings are connected by bridges creating one complex, which contains the world's largest diamond trading floor; consisting of 1000 office rooms, restaurants, banks, post, and package delivery services.
The first diamond cutting facility in Israel was open in 1937, the industry grew over the next 30 years and by the 1960s a trade association was established, which later evolved into the Diamond Exchange.
From 1967 to 1993 Moshe Schnitzer was President of the IDE, which grew rapidly under his direction. Exports on polished diamonds from Israel during this period increased from $200 million to $3.4 billion a year. In 1968 the first building in the complex was opened, the 22 story Shimshon Tower, at the time one of the tallest buildings in Israel. During the 1980s the Maccabi Tower and Noam Tower were constructed and in 1992 the tallest building in the complex was opened, the 32 story Diamond Tower.
For many years the supply of rough diamonds was dominated by the Diamond Trading Company Sightholders, a selected group authorised bulk purchasers of rough diamonds (which includes also about 10 Israeli diamantaires, controlled by the De Beers Group, the single largest producer and purveyor of rough diamonds in the world. During the 1990s the stronghold of De Beers Group was weakened by diamond traders who engage directly with diamond producers in Russia and Africa.