By Michelle Graff
Ramat Gan, Israel--Israel’s polished diamond exports for the first six months of the year were up 6 percent year-over-year, and the United States remains the country’s largest export market.

According to statistics released Monday by Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai, polished diamond exports reached $3.6 billion in first half of 2014, compared with $3.4 billion in the same period in 2013.

Rough diamond exports also rose during the half-year period, from $1.65 billion last year to $1.8 billion in 2014, a 6 percent increase.

Israel Diamond Institute Chairman Moti Ganz called these numbers “gratifying” in light of the difficult economic conditions in most of the major markets.

The United States continued to be Israel’s largest export market for polished diamonds during the first six months of the year, taking in about 45 percent of the country’s gross exports.

In second came Hong Kong, accounting for 31 percent of diamond exports, followed by Switzerland at 8 percent, Belgium at 7 percent and England at 2 percent. Other countries combined accounted for the remaining 7 percent of polished diamond exports.

IDI Managing Director Eli Avidar said that the Israeli diamond industry continued to look for marketing opportunities in the first half of the year, including attending trade shows across the U.S., Asia and Europe.

RELATED CONTENT: Texas-Israel diamond show scheduled for Sept.

During the second half of the year, in addition to participating in more trade shows, IDI will hold Israel’s first “trunk show” in the United States.

IDI is partnering with the Texas Jewelers Association for the Texas-Israel Diamond Show, scheduled to take place at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio from Sept. 29 to 30 and timed to allow jewelers the chance to replenish their stock before the holiday season.

The trade-only show will showcase nearly 30 exhibitors from Israel, offering diamonds of every size, shape, color and price point in both loose stones and luxury diamond jewelry.

There is no fee to attend but those who wish to come must register for this event ahead of time.

“We expect that this will be the first of a series of local trunk shows held in selected markets in the United States,” Avidar said. 

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