De Beers Turning Israel Into Its Hub for Small Diamond Merchants

Diamdel opening a local office, says DTC manager Varda Shine

De Beers is turning Israel into its hub for small diamond merchants. Varda Shine, the executive director of Diamond Trading Company (DTC), which is the marketing arm of the De Beers group, announced today that the main branch of subsidiary Diamdel will be opening up for business in Israel.

The announcement portends a major restructuring for the De Beers diamond business. All Diamdel's raw stones will come to Israel first, whence they will undergo classification, followed by marketing and sales.

Diamdel is responsible for marketing De Beers' raw diamonds to relatively small diamond merchants, who are not sight-holders, ergo are not entitled to a quota of gems. This is a relatively minor part of the diamond giant's business, as most of its stones are marketed to sight-holders.

During 2005, say Israeli sources, Diamdel sold $550 million worth of unpolished gems. This year the amount is expected to be greater.

The De Beers move opens a door to smaller diamond merchants, say local sources, and should significantly advance Israel's ambition to become the global hub for raw stones.