Diamond Industry Organizations: Israel Diamond Exchange

The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) is the hub of the Israeli diamond center. Located in Ramat Gan, right by Tel Aviv it serves one of the largest and most important diamond trading centers.

The IDE runs the diamond exchange complex, an enclosed campus of four interconnected buildings that houses the offices of diamond trading companies and everything they need to conduct their businesses. The IDE is however, much more than just a physical diamond trading hub. With some 3,000 members and companies, it creates a business environment that allows them to manage their affairs as well as represent their interests in local and international forums.

Within the IDE compound, members have banks, two active trading floors – one for polished diamonds and one for rough diamonds, secure shipping services, gemological labs, a customs office, a post office, restaurants, office supply stores, and even a synagogue and religious studies room. The Diamond Exchange created an enclosed and highly secured business environment that allows them to focus on trade, without external distractions or a need to worry about security.

The history of the Israeli diamond industry extends back to the 1930s, with a number of European diamond traders who immigrated to the country. By 1937, the first diamond polishing plant opened in the country. At first, traders met informally at a Tel Aviv café. However, after a while, they realized that they needed to create an association that would set internal rules and band traders together to represent their interests. This was the foundation of the IDE.

In the early 1960s, under the stewardship of Moshe Schnitzer, the association secured the land on which the fist exchange building was erected. In 1968, the 22-story Shimshon building was inaugurated. Over the years, the Maccabi and Noam buildings were added to the complex. In 1992, the 32-story Diamond Tower was opened.

This was the first such enclosed diamond trading ever. IDE, with its foresight in creating this complex, helped transform the budding Israeli diamond industry into a global powerhouse. At one point, the Israel Diamond Exchange was the largest such exchange in the world.

The organization sets and implements the rules of trade and conduct for the Israeli diamond industry and regulations for becoming a member of the diamond trade in the country. Within this sphere of regulations and oversight, the IDE also has its own arbitration institution to deal with conduct violations, breaches of accepted commercial norms, and mediate in commercial disputes. It has the power to penalize members and even revoke a trader’s diamond license.

In addition to facilitating day-to-day business locally, the IDE represents its members and the Israeli diamond center when facing different governmental and national agencies - ministries, the Bank of Israel, commercial banks, tax authorities, and more.

In addition, the IDE represents the Israeli diamond industry in international forums such as the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), the World Diamond Council (WDC), which represents the diamond industry in the Kimberley Process, and the World Jewelry Confederation CIBJO. 

In recent years, the IDE has played an important role in drafting some of the most important and transformative ideas for the Kimberley Process, assisting in elevating issues that bogged down the global diamond industry under the leadership of a string of IDE presidents, all of whom were also active diamond traders.

Known as Startup Nation, Israel is a leading technology innovator, and this did not skip over the diamond industry. So while a number of Israeli companies are the leading tech companies in robotics and polishing technologies, IDE seeks to encourage further technological developments to advance the diamond industry. To achieve that goal, the IDE set up a technology hub. Located in the Yahalom building within the diamond exchange complex, the hub provides access, support and knowledge for small startups making their first steps in cutting-edge technological initiatives that relate to the diamond industry as a whole.