Israel's diamond sales hit record after decade of decline

Then increase, the ministry said, came after a decade of declining sales led by the transfer of aspects of the polished diamond trade to India.

 A trader inspects a 709-carat diamond, found in Sierra Leone and known as the ‘Peace Diamond,’ as Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, looks on, at Israel’s Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan on October 19, 2017. (photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS)
A trader inspects a 709-carat diamond, found in Sierra Leone and known as the ‘Peace Diamond,’ as Martin Rapaport, chairman of the Rapaport Group, looks on, at Israel’s Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan on October 19, 2017.
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS)

The Israeli diamond industry recorded a sharp increase in sales in 2021 compared to the previous year, registering $2.94 billion in imports (a 91 percent increase) and $3.65 billion in exports (a 54 percent increase). 

The figures were released on Monday by the Economy Ministry. 

The increase, the ministry said, came after a decade of declining sales caused by the transfer of aspects of the polished diamond trade to India, the difficulty for Israel to compete with cheap labor costs and increased competition from the booming diamond market in Dubai. 

 A visitor holds a diamond during a visit to the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (GSS) in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone. (credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS) A visitor holds a diamond during a visit to the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (GSS) in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone. (credit: SIPHIWE SIBEKO/REUTERS)

In raw diamonds, imports saw an increase of 94% hitting $2.07 billion in sales and exports saw an increase of 109 percent recording $1.8 billion. 

Ofir Gur, Director of the Diamond, Gems and Jewelry Administration and the Supervisor of Diamonds at the Economy Ministry, said that a year ago no one would have believed that the diamond market in Israel would recover so quickly.

“We can be optimistic for the next few months as well since there is an increase in jewelry sales around the holiday season in the United States, which is the target market for Israeli diamond traders,” Gur said.