President of the Israel Diamond Exchange Yair Sahar held his first working meeting with De Beers chief executive officer Philippe Mellier and Diamond Trading Company chief executive officer Varda Shine.
They were joined at the meeting by the outgoing chairman of De Beers Nicky Oppenheimer as well as managing director of the Israel Diamond Exchange Motti Besser.
This was Mellier’s introduction to the Israeli Diamond Industry. During the meeting, Yair Sahar gave Mellier a rundown of the 75-year history of the Israeli diamond trade, specifically mentioning the major milestones in the industry’s development and the Diamond Exchange’s growth. The president made special mention of the impressive growth in the export of polished diamonds. In 1940, Israel exported $70,000 worth of polished diamonds. Last year, its exports exceeded $7.2 billion. While its import of rough diamonds totaled $56,000 in 1940, last year imports reached a whopping $4.4 billion.