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Diamond Industry Losing Its Sparkle

Israel’s diamond industry, which anticipated record Christmas season sales barely a month ago, has been plunged into gloom. The outlook, so promising in October, is bleak in November according to Moshe Schnitzer, the usually ebulliently optimistic president of the diamond bourse in Ramat Gan.

Finished diamonds for industrial use and jewelry are one of Israel’s chief exports. Japan is a major customer. A group of Japanese buyers visited the Ramat Gan exchange recently to place orders. Spirits soared. But then they plummeted. The Japanese, at the last minute, withheld orders. Several buyers cancelled contracts already signed.