THE ISRAEL DIAMOND EXCHANGE IN TEL AVIV
Four skyscrapers pierce the sky above Tel Aviv - that is how, according to the designers, has to look a treasure trove of the diamond industry in Israel... It all started in 1937 when the cornerstone was laid for the modern Exchange building. In contrast to the current span when the main tower of the Exchange covers 74 floors and is 244 meters high, previously, diamond transactions were negotiated inside a small room. The same year in the city of Petah Tikva was opened the first factory engaged in diamond cutting. There masters learned the sacrament of gems, tested them for hardness, and through the finest quality cutting transformed them into multi-faceted diamonds shaped round, radiant; created heart-shaped diamond jewellery. They also experimented with the outer and inner brilliance, fixed correct cut, and achieved real radiance.
Hardly anybody thought at that time, that two small businesses will rise Israeli jewellery industry to dizzying heights. And many years later, when the Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv was inaugurated, it has become a place were the best professionals are working, and even the precious stones themselves wait in queue to be polished there.
Half of all existing diamonds available for sale on the world market originates from the Israeli Diamond Exchange. Daily, samples of variety of colours flock there - from colourless and yellow, to pink and blue. Stone, which is dubbed the king of jewellery, is brought to Tel Aviv from India, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and Russia. Their age is the same adamant as the stone itself - from one hundred million to two and a half billion years. All these factors over the years have been attracted twenty thousand people a day to the halls of the Exchange.
... Let's say you are lucky, and you were on the territory of the Exchange. On the ground floor there is the Diamond Museum named after Harry Oppenheimer, where you can see multiple replicas of the most famous of the existing diamond. Each of them has its own story.
Here is Cullinan I, discovered in the early years of the 20th century in Africa. Jewellers were examining this diamond for two years - by the way, that time there was no formula to calculate accurately the parameters for subsequent cutting, and the work had to be done "by eye". The result was worthy of royal attention, the diamond enhanced the collection of the British King Edward VII, crowned with its beauty the sceptre of aged monarch.
The next "wonder of the world" was found in India five thousand years ago, as reported in the ancient scriptures. Throughout its long life, the Kōh-i Nūr diamond saw a lot of royals – it was admired by Indian rajahs, it was fought for by the Mongols, this stone used to be the subject of contention, and sovereigns even committed crimes to possess it. It was until the Kōh-i Nūr was presented to Her Majesty Victoria, and from the beginning of the 20th century, this jewel has become an integral part of the crown of the British Queen.
Of course, it is not all that will please the eye of curious tourists in the museum, the list is endless: the largest pink diamond from Africa the Steinmetz Pink; precious stone from the Congo the Millennium Star, which is the second largest among the transparent diamonds; yellow rough diamond Oppenheimer inviting with its golden glow, and many others...
It is not easy to get to the Diamond Exchange. Entrance only with a pass, so random people are not admitted. The person eager to grasp the true brilliance of diamonds must have an invitation from a member of the exchange, as well as to obtain permission to be engaged into jewellery business. Fingerprints, a special badge - the atmosphere of secrecy is strictly observed: in the hall, it is prohibited to take photo and video in order not to fix the faces of people entering into contracts. This is dictated by security concerns and by the fact that many traders and buyers are very well-known people in the world. For membership of the Israel Diamond Exchange, in order to occupy a treasured place, applicant must meet strict selection criteria: with a lot of experience in this field, become an expert diamantaire recommended by the four current members of the stock exchange who provide objective proofs.
What makes the Israeli Diamond Exchange so unique? Here you will find not only the offices of producers and an exhibition hall, but also enterprises for processing of diamonds, as well as everything else that can be useful to a person lost in a boundless space, namely, post office, restaurants, medical centre, bank, customs controls, and even houses of worship! Indeed, where else but in the spacious halls where the language of diamonds is translate into the language of luxury, it is necessary to say an ancient spell in Hebrew: "mazal u'braha" which means "good fortune and a blessing".