The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum is a museum located in the Diamond Exchange District, Tel Aviv District city of Ramat Gan, Israel. The permanent collection consists of rough and finished diamonds and gemstones and provides information on the history and industry of diamonds. The museum was founded in 1986 in honor of Harry Oppenheimer. Moshe Schnitzer was responsible for establishing the museum and was its Chairman until July 2003. In 2008, the museum was reopened after major renovations.
The museum belongs to the Israel Diamond Institute. Long-time diamantaire Shmuel Schnitzer, son of Moshe Schnitzer, is the museum chairman.
The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, named after a past Chairman of De Beers, was founded during the International Diamond Congress held in Israel in 1986. The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum is situated in the heart of the Israeli Diamond Complex in Ramat Gan, and it serves as the Israel Diamond Industry’s display window.
The diamond museum displays permanent exhibits of jewelry, diamonds and gemstones in addition to changing exhibits, and it houses extensive literature on the diamond for professionals. The diamond museum places special emphasis upon the historical link between the Jewish world and Israel on the one hand, and the diamond world, on the other.
Visitors to the diamond museum include diamantaires, guests, tourists and many other sectors of the population who discover the world of the diamond through various multimedia offering an exciting interactive experience and rare insight into the world’s most prestigious mineral.d
Coloured diamonds sparkle at ‘billion dollar’ trading event
When it comes to coloured diamonds, this is one collection that is sure to turn heads. This set of 300 gems has been collected over four decades and its estimated to be worth up to 100-million US dollars. The “Rainbow Collection” is owned by Belgian diamantaire Eddy Elzas. It’s on show here at the “Israel, the US & International Diamond Week” trading event, at the Israel Diamond Exchange, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. The naturally coloured diamonds will be exhibited to the public at the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum, within the Israel Diamond Exchange, from 26 April 2014.
“This collection, the ‘Rainbow Collection’ – which I consider the mother of all collections – is the mother of each and every diamond dealer here that deals in coloured diamonds,” says Elzas. “Because without that collection there would not be a single diamond dealer here with coloured diamonds. So it makes me feel beautiful.”
Hundreds of international buyers are here at the trading event – from the US, India, UK, China, Italy and South Africa among other countries. They’re joining manufacturing and trading firms from Israel – with around three-thousand people expected to trade more than a billion US dollars of diamonds on the floor of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE).
“It’s a very big event for diamonds to bring 500 buyers from all over the world, and to bring from our part 400 exhibitors – it’s a big event,” says Shmuel Schnitzer, President of the Israel Diamond Exchange. “We’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that the buyer can see here. And of course all kinds of diamonds – small, medium, big, fancy colours, whites – whatever you like.
“It’s a very big variety, very fascinating show.” According to Israel’s Economy Ministry, the country’s diamond industry has an annual worth of around 28 billion US dollars. Annual exports of rough and polished diamonds are valued at around 10 billion US dollars, it says, and diamonds account for about 20 percent of Israel’s total industrial export. Approximately 20,000 people are said to be employed in the industry. The dazzling gems on display at the trading event represent the efforts of Israeli diamond producers to stay relevant in a changing climate. For decades now, diamond production has shifted east to countries like China and India.
Today, Israel only produces a small percentage of the world’s diamonds. But companies have been adapting – including a shift to selling fancy colours and shapes. Joseph Frei, a diamond supplier who has lived and worked in Israel for 36 years, says that the efforts prove that it is a “trading nation.” He’s got a stand at the trading event. “This is the third show and each time it improves. It allows people from all over the world to come here. And it allows the Israeli merchants to see other people they otherwise wouldn’t have seen,” he says. Roy Fuchs, a third generation Israeli diamond cutter, works in Tel Aviv and specialises in finely coloured diamonds. He uses special digital, 3D cutting software, which has been developed in Israel. And he cuts his raw stones in particular ways, in order to embellish and bring out certain hues. Fuchs fell in love with his craft at an early age.
Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School
The Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Training School in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers these courses: 1. Rough Diamond Evaluation, 2. Diamond Polishing, 3. Polished Diamond Grading, 4. Gemstone Identification