The new visitor center, and the only one of its kind in Israel, was opened at a special event last week in the presence of the mayor of Acre, Mr. Shimon Lankri, and senior officials of the municipality.
Over 50 distinguished guests came to the event, including businessmen, politicians, celebrities, including the singer Narkis, Eden Harel and Oded Menashe, lifestyle influencers and bloggers from the world of luxury jewelry, and international media.
The event was managed by the Taub family, three generations of jewelers and orthodox Chabad followers, who own and manage the mining company and the jewelry brand HOLYGEMS - whose founding story is miraculous in itself.
The guests heard the phenomenal words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which led the father of the family to embark on a journey against all odds; And about the 20 years of research and development that followed, which ultimately led to the amazing discovery of the first economic deposit of precious gems in the Land of Israel. A deposit which includes blue, green and yellow sapphire, red garnet, black spinel, and the highlight: Carmel-sapphire, a rare and desirable gemstone that exists only in the Holy Land.
The event also included a guided tour (which is usually granted to every visitor to the center), which goes through all the stages of uncovering the gems - from washing the piles of sand from the mine, sorting with dedicated machines, to finding the raw gems, polishing and setting in the highest level of luxury jewelry, which was presented the grand showroom.
"After over 20 years of research and development in collaboration with experts from all over the world, we are very proud to fulfill the vision of our father who passed away a few months before we received approval from the Israeli government of the discovery and to start selling Israeli sourced gems in the world" says Tali Shalem-Taub, CEO of HOLYGEMS. "We established our jewelry brand after making a strategic decision not to sell these rare gems except when they are set in the brand's jewelry, in a way that will allow us to give the customer unparalleled transparency and traceability of the precious stone's origin. The jewelry in which the rare gems from Israel are embedded arouse great interest in the world, including a demand to open local branches. As a start, we opened our main showroom, located next to the operational complex of the mining activity, with the aim of giving the customer a magical shopping experience that begins with touching the sand of the land, and ends with touching the rare luxury and amazing discoveries".
The amazing story
HOLYGEMS is the world’s only jewelry inlaid with never-seen-before, extremely rare, natural precious gems, mined exclusively from the holy land. But, to reach this point took two decades. The story sounds like a ferry tail or a Thriller:
Abraham (Avi) Taub, a descendant of a pioneer family with long-standing three generation presence in the diamond and luxury jewelry market in Israel, heard about something that the Lubavitcher Rebbe (the most influential international Jewish leader of the 20th century) said in 1988. In a filmed interview with the then mayor of Haifa, the Rebbe said that there are precious gemstones in the Haifa and Carmel area in the Land of Israel, and that the Almighty did a wondrous thing when he himself concealed them in the depths of this Holy Land.
Taub was a loyal follower of the Rebbe and an experienced businessman, and this statement did not give him rest. Thus, in 1999, along with several partners and the Rebbe’s revelation guiding his actions, Taub established a company (Shefa in Israel G.M. Ltd) for the exploration, research, and development of precious gem mines in the north of the Land of Israel – with the company operating to this day according to permits and licenses received from the State of Israel.
In March 2020, five months after Mr. Taub’s sudden death, and after 20 years of R&D in collaboration with international experts and research institutes, the State of Israel, for the first time ever, issued a Discovery Certificate confirming that an economic deposit of precious gems was found in the areas for which the company holds license.
The company currently markets a line of luxury jewelry under the registered brand name HOLYGEMS that offers gold and diamond jewelry exclusively set with the precious gems found in the Holy Land.
These gems from the new, holy and most coveted source, are imbued with significance and meaning, including their mystical and historical connection to the Holy Land as described in numerous Biblical sources. Together with the company’s ability to provide an origin and traceability certificate of each gem from mine to customer (in itself highly rare transparency) – this discovery creates great interest in the luxury jewelry market in general and in communities and circles with a connection to Israel and to the Holy Land in particular.
The company is now managed (after the passing of Mr. Taub) by his children, driven by a sense of mission to realize their father’s vision:
Tali Shalem-Taub – CEO, Shefa in Israel and Holy Gems™. Yossi Taub - CDO , Mendy Taub – COO, Michaella Taub - the mother of Tali, Mendy and Yossi and the widow of the late Avi Taub – who serves as the house designer and brings 40 years of experience designing luxury jewelry and Chen Kolton-Taub - finance department and graphic design