De Beers’ chairman praised for “enormous contribution” to industry.

De Beers’ chairman Nicky Oppenheimer has been awarded a lifetime achievement award the Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) at a dinner hosted in Tel Aviv.

Oppenheimer was praised for his “enormous contribution to the world diamond industry and to the Israeli industry in particular”.


The event was held in the presence of past and current leaders of the Israeli industry including IDI chairman Moti Ganz and Israel Diamond Exchange president Yair Sahar.

Oppenheimer’s son Jonathan Oppenheimer, De Beers chief executive Philippe Mellier and the DTC’s chief executive Varda Shine were also in attendance.

The IDI’s managing director Eli Avidar presented the award to Oppenheimer. He said: “This unique award is of the utmost significance to our industry. It represents our supreme appreciation of one who has dedicated his or her life’s work to advancing the industry that we hold so dear.”

Avidar said the award was in recognition of Oppenheimer’s “vision, courage and inspiration, continuing a family heritage of honesty, integrity and adherence to the highest standards”.

Oppenheimer described the award as an honour for everyone who has been part of De Beers.

“I see this award as an honour not me but for the Oppenheimer family, past, present and future. From the time my grandfather moved to South Africa, the Oppenheimer family has had diamonds in its blood.

“You’ve done me, Jonathan and my ancestors an unbelievable honour,” he added.

Earlier in his visit to Tel Aviv Oppenheimer met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by Moti Ganz, Phillip Mellier and Varda Shine.

Netanyahu told the group that he regards diamonds as important to the economy and as a drawing point for Jewish diamantaires from all over the world. He also said that he sees it as his responsibility to enhance the Israeli diamond centre.