Welcome to Diamond-Key Centers and Bourses
Rough diamonds are mined across 4 continents and sorted, in London, into more than 5,000 categories. The rough is then distributed to the cutting centers and to dealers in Antwerp, where approximately 85% of the total rough diamond trade takes place.

The major diamond manufacturing centers include Israel, Belgium, India (Mumbai and Surat), and New York; cutting and polishing also takes place in South Africa, Botswana, Russia, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mauritius.

Integrity, trust, and tradition are the qualities on which the industry is based. Buying, selling, making connections and contacts, meeting new people - that's what it's all about. The business is premised on knowing where to find the right goods - from the right seller - for the right buyer - and being there at the right time, and, of course, with the right price.

The Diamond Exchange is at the center - with the purpose of protecting the integrity and interests of the trade - which is, probably, the major reason why the industry has succeeded as well as it has. Diamond people have a long tradition of cooperating with one another for the common good, within the framework of the Bourse, even though they may compete against one another on the global markets on a day-to-day basis.


 
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Diamond Centers Worldwide

Israel In Israel, approximately 1,200 diamond companies are located in Ramat Gan in the Israel Diamond Exchange complex. The 4 buildings - Shimshon, Maccabi, Noam and the Diamond Tower - are located on 2 parallel streets, Jabotinsky and Bezalel, and are connected to one another through a series of internal pedestrian bridges.

Ramat Gan is approximately a 1/2 hour drive (depending on traffic) from the Ben Gurion International Airport, and 10 minutes from Tel Aviv and the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea.


Belgium In Belgium, approximately 1,500 diamond offices are located in Antwerp in 3 well protected, inter-connected streets, Hoveniersstraat, Schupstraat, and Rijfstraat.

Some of the buildings on Hoveniersstraat also have entrances from Pelikaanstraat.

Antwerp's annual turnover in rough, polished, and industrial diamonds is more than $20 billion dollars.


GatewayOpera

In India, the offices are located, in Mumbai (Bombay). The Prasad Chambers, Panchratna Building, Hermes House, and Dharam Palace are located in the general area of the Royal Opera House near the Roxy Cinema within a radius of less than half a mile. Others are located around the city and are easy to find with a driver. The major manufacturing center is in Surat in the state of Gujurat.


London, the center for the distribution of rough diamonds for more than 300 years, is the home of the CSO (Central Selling Organization) and the brokers who represent De Beers. Sightholders, both manufacturers and dealers in rough, meet in London, once every 5 weeks, 10 times a year, to inspect their diamond allocations.


Both Hong Kong and Taiwan, important diamond trading centers on their own, are significant thresholds to the Far East markets including Korea and China.


In New York, most of the offices are located in what is known as the Diamond District - between Fifth Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas - from 46th to 48th Streets. New York is considered the "gateway" to the U.S. market and is also a manufacturing center for large sizes.


Diamond Bourses around the World

Each Bourse (with its own infrastructure, constitution and by-laws, and strict requirements for membership) has its own interesting history.

The "Club" is the oldest bourse in Antwerp and led all the others with its own arbitration board. Members of the Diamantclub van Antwerpen first met (as a traders society) in 1886 at the Cafe Flora, and later moved to a residence on Simonsstraat in 1892. By 1910, the "Club" had been rebuilt three times. In 1969, an eleven floor building was built at 62 Pelikaanstraat.

Established in 1898 as the "Diamond Casino" which met at 36 Pelikaanstraat, the Beurs voor Diamanthandel was founded in 1904 and incorporated as a cooperative business; by 1929 there were more than 2,000 members. Built in 1921, the original building was expanded in 1957, and extended through to Hoveniersstraat in 1970.

Founded in 1911, and established as the Vrije Diamanthandel in 1919, this exchange was primarily a meeting place for the manufacturers from the Kempen district (who first met in a cafe on Pelikaanstraat belonging to Jos Springer). The Vrije's original building was destroyed in 1944. It is now located, as a separate entity, in the Diamantclub.

As the rough trade developed, a separate Exchange for rough was required, so the Antwerpsche Diamantkring was established by dealers who first met at the Fortunia Building, and later moved, in 1930, to the Klein House at 86 Pelikaanstraat. In 1941, the German occupying force ordered the Kring to give up its premises and members found a temporary location at the Beurs. The Kring reopened in 1947, and, since 1986, has been located in the ADC building on Hoveniersstraat.

New York's Diamond Dealers Club was incorporated in 1931 (with only 12 people signing the agreement) as a central secure place for trading diamonds. World War II was responsible for the expansion of the DDC, as many European dealers moved to the States. Membership now numbers in the thousands, with members coming from Europe, Japan, India, Israel, Africa, and all parts of the U.S.A. The first 2 club locations were in downtown New York, on Nassau Street, and, today ,the DDC is located at 580 Fifth Avenue at the corner of 47th Street.

The Israel Diamond Exchange was first established in the late 1930's (before the founding of the State), as an answer to the need for a safe place to trade diamonds. Prior to this, diamonds were traded in private homes and cafes in the vicinity of Ahad Ha'am Street in Tel Aviv. The Exchange moved to Ramat Gan, in 1968, with the opening of the Shimshon Building. The Maccabi Building was built in the early 1980's, and, in 1993, the Diamond Tower was opened.

The first Asian diamond bourse, the Diamond Club of Singapore, opened in 1976, and was followed by the Hong Kong Bourse in 1985.

The Diamond Club of Florida opened in Miami, in 1992, as a "gateway" to Latin America and South America.

Moscow's Russian Diamond Bourse membership has more than doubled to 42 members during its first year of operations. There are also plans to increase the Bourse's trading volume after a government resolution about rough diamond operations on the secondary market.

New branches for the Bourse will be opened this year in Kaliningrad, Yatutsk, and Yekaterinburg.



Antwerp Diamond District The diamond industry has to keep up with the technical advances brought about by the new technologies and the internet. It must also be prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The 29th Diamond Congress, sponsored by the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, will be held in Antwerp, July 16 - 19, 2000 to address these and many other issues.

Concurrent with the Congress, there will be a two exhibitions organized by the Antwerp Diamond Museum - "500 Years Antwerp World Diamond Center" and "Fancy Cut Diamonds".

You may e-mail the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) at wfdb@iway.be


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Revised: 25 May 00 -0245 GMT