Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68NATIONAL JEWELER 49 MATCH STONES SEARCH SHARE COLLECTION 360° VIDEO FREE TO SEARCH Request Username and Password 21ST CENTURY DIAMOND SOURCING NETWORK This has a negative impact on the industry, Harari explains. The first to get hurt are the mining companies, as lower revenue can result in the closure of “uneconomic mines.” The second group affected are the manufacturers and polished sell- ers, who have to lower the prices of their existing stock to levels that do not allow them to make a profit because of the cheaper goods that will soon flood the market. “The problem for the manufacturers is the margin,” he says. “When they are squeezed between the retailers and the mines, the price is not relevant as long as they can maintain their mar- gins, which is becoming increasingly challenging.” The lack of financing is especially troublesome for those in the middle of the pipeline. London-based Stan- dard Chartered PLC shut down its diamond and jewelry business in June 2016 following an earlier decision requiring clients, particularly those in Antwerp and India, to take out payment insurance or provide up to 100 percent collater- al. The bank was badly burned by the Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery default, one of the larg- est in Indian history. Antwerp Diamond Bank and Israel’s Bank Leumi have also exited the business, preferring to concentrate on sectors with more transparency and less perceived risk. More recently, the First International Bank of Israel (FIBI) cut back on credit lines mainly to small and mid-sized compa- nies, although its effect is less serious than some of the earlier closures, albeit part of a worrisome trend. “FIBI is the smallest of the Israeli banks that finance the diamond sector,” says Israel Diamond Exchange president Yoram Dvash. “Their tightening of credit does not please us, but its effect is relatively small. The problem however is a global one and we must solve it on an international level. The World Federation of Diamond Bourses is working on this and I hope we will be able to change the approach of the banks worldwide to the diamond sector.” As a manufacturer, Dvash understands changes need to be made. And they are the same type of changes that many say are needed at the retail level as well, changes that put the focus on doing one thing really well instead of trying to be everything to everyone. “The time when diamond companies could be supermarkets that sold everything is over. This is the age when each compa- ny must develop its own niche and … excel at it,” he says. While the financial challenges persist, while spending on luxury goods drops and while—depending on how you look at it—the business is being challenged by the lab-grown sector, the fact that the industry is at last beginning to work together is extremely positive, and that is rare indeed. diamond industry “The time when diamond companies could be supermarkets that sold everything is over. This is the age when each company must develop its own niche and … excel at it.” —Yoram Dvash, Israel Diamond Exchange