Israel Diamond Exchange Ltd., located in the Tel Aviv District city of Ramat Gan, Israel, is the world's largest diamond exchange and the centre of Israel's diamond industry. The exchange is a private company that incorporates about 3100 members; these diamantaires are engaged in diamond cutting and trading - 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 the country was opened in 1937, during the British Mandate. The industry grew over the next seven years, but between 1944 and 1948 it suffered from the increasing lawlessness and in February 1948 closed down completely, with seemingly little chance of recovery.
After a new start and renewed growth, 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 of 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[dubious ]. During the 1990s the stronghold of De Beers Group was weakened by diamond traders who engage directly with diamond producers in Russia and Africa.
- Moshe Schnitzer, key player in the international diamond trade, from 1967–1993 President of the Israel Diamond Exchange
- The Scotsman, March 8th 1948: 'Clare Hollingworth, Jerusalem, by Air Mail : One of the biggest casualties of the Palestine civil war occurred last month in a veil of obscurity. The entire Jewish-owned diamond polishing industry of Palestine, which had grown during the war to be the second largest in the world after that of Holland, was closed down. It is considered unlikely that the industry, which in 1946 exported £5,501,000 worth of cut diamonds, mostly to the United States, will reopen again on anything like its former scale. Four official reasons are given for ‘suspending work’. The first is that 2500 workers in 34 diamond-cutting plants walked out as a result of ‘hold-ups by dissident underground organisations.’ Secondly, Mr O. Ben-Ami, president of the Diamond Manufacturing Association, states that £200,000 of diamonds have been stolen since 1944. The third reason is that insurance companies, after raising diamond insurance rates for Palestine to 12 per cent. recently declined cover altogether. Fourthly, the Palestine Post Office no longer accepts registered mail. The fate of the diamond industry illustrates the twin dangers which threaten the whole of the new industrial system which the Zionists have built up rapidly in Palestine in recent years, and on which many Zionist economists based their hopes for the livelihood of a future Jewish state. The dangers are the dislocation caused by the guerrilla struggle waged by Jewish extremists, which has now developed into an economically paralysing civil war, and the post-war revival of international trade at competitive prices, which has revealed the shaky basis of wartime expansion of Zionist industry.'
- "MOSHE SCHNITZER 1921 – 2007". The Israel Diamond Industry. 17 August 2007. Archived from the original on 14 June 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- About DTC Sightholders