Shlomo Moussaieff, a prominent Israeli diamond merchant known for his sales to Arab royalty has passed away, Bar Ilan University announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Born and raised in Mandatory Jerusalem, Moussaieff, whose family owned a Jewelry store, was kicked out of his home at the age of twelve, ending up collecting coins from caves in the city for resale while sleeping in a local synagogue. After a stint in an Arab reform school in which he picked up the language he joined the Etzel to fight the British, later joining the British army to fight in the Second World War. He would subsequently be captured by the Jordanians during the war of independence.
He would later open his own store in Jerusalem before expanding his business to London where he connected with the various Arab royals who would make up an important part of his clientele.
He was an avid collector of Judaica as well.
"Like the diamonds he sold, Shlomo was a gem of a person," said Vera Muravitz, Chairman of the International Friends at Bar-Ilan University. "He knew how to talk to people and he invested so much passion in every person he met."
Moussaieff donated his grandfather's collection of Kabbalistic manuscripts to the university, which awarded him with an honorary doctorate in 2000.