Ovadia Yosef, founder and president of Ovadia Diamonds, has been in the diamond business for 50 years. He began his career as a diamond polisher, learning the trade from skilled craftsmen. It did not take very long for Ovadia to open his own diamond factory and to employ the professional polishers who trained him. More recently they also trained his son and his sons in law, who joined the company and did a stint as diamond polishers before entering the trading office in the Israel Diamond Exchange in Ramat Gan.
Ovadia began trading and exporting diamonds in the 1980s, specializing in triangles and hearts, which were unusual at the time. Since he was an accomplished diamond polisher, Ovadia was able to use his expertise to improve the triangle cut, giving it more shine and brilliance. In the 1990s he invented a new fancy shape – the half-moon – which became a popular side stone that is widely manufactured.
Over time Ovadia developed a reputation for expertise, trustworthiness and excellent service. As his family grew he brought his sons, daughters and sons-in-law into the business. The younger generation has further expanded the business, and Ovadia now has offices in Hong Kong, London, Antwerp, New York, Los Angeles and Ramat Gan. They have a diversified B2B client base, including importers, jewelry manufacturers and private jewelry stores.
Today Ovadia Diamonds manufactures all fancy shapes and is a world leader in supplying triangles and heart shapes. The company manufactures in Israel, and buys most of its rough in Antwerp. They are widely known in the industry and enjoy a reputation for excellent service. In addition, as manufacturers they are able to offer better prices. They sell GIA and EGL certified as well as non-certified diamonds, supplying loose stones as well as matching pairs and layouts for jewelry.
This September, Ovadia Diamonds will once again be exhibiting in the IDI pavilion in the Hong Kong show. Hong Kong is a very important market for them since it represents an entry point into Asia, and they participate in the two most important shows here – September and March.
In preparation for the show, they are arranging meetings with clients in advance, and are hoping to meet new clients as well. Vice president and son in law Moshe Sinai says that there are clients that he sees only at exhibitions and certain types of goods that he sells mostly place at shows. “Often the larger deals take place at shows,” he says. “We have customers who buy from us only at shows. New clients can come from the most unexpected places, from places in Asia we’d never reach otherwise,” he says.
Due to the dip in Asian markets and the difficulties of the diamond industry worldwide, Sinai says that the company is realistic about the show this year. “I don’t have any expectations. We’re there to maintain relations with our clients and to keep our place in the show,” he adds.
Sinai says that they are bringing a lot of goods to the show – parcels, pairs and layouts for bracelets and necklaces of all types of fancy shaped side stones, from .25 carats up to 3 carats. They will also be bringing jewelry from their very successful brand, Illimitee, which is manufactured in Israel and sold to high end jewelry stores worldwide.
What makes them unique in the IDI pavilion? Sinai says “Ovadia’s name in the industry that he built up over the years is a powerful legacy. It’s our most important asset. We are doing everything we can to continue his work and to ensure that we maintain the company’s extraordinary reputation.”