The place where 92% of the American diamonds are imported! Also probably the only place where instead of a contract for the purchased diamond, you will get a firm handshake! And lastly, the place where International gem tower is! Let's go!
International Gem Tower, Diamond district, NYC
So, you've been thinking about it a lot. You and your sweetheart are together for a long time. You found everything in their love and you want for the proposal to be perfect! What do you need? Yes, a badass rock! A shiny diamond that will definitely clear away all of your forgotten socks in the bedroom or all of those dirty dishes that you leave all around the kitchen that might affect the decision. Diamond rings are the best cure for all that! So, who're you gonna call?! No, not Ghostbusters! Call Diamond district! It is the place where 92% of the USA diamonds are imported. Let me take you there.
Where would we go?
Ok, so where would New Yorkers put the shiniest things that a person can wear as jewelry? In the brightest spot in the whole City, of course. We would go to Times Square since Diamond district is in the same neighborhood of Midtown, Manhattan. It was created in the 1920s and for decades this trading neighborhood stands for the center of diamond trade on the East coast of the United States. When you get there, one thing will clearly tell you that we have arrived: Diamond-shaped street lamps are placed on the corners to mark the district's borders.
The area is one of the primary centers of the global diamond industry and it is the second oldest surviving jewelry district in the United States after Jewelers' Row in Philadelphia. Total receipts for the value of a single day's trade on the block average $400 million. Yes, I know! An estimated 90% of diamonds in the United States enter through New York. There are 2,600 independent businesses located in the district, nearly all of them dealing in diamonds or jewelry.
Dusty, old gem box
So, when we get there do not be disappointed. When you think of diamond trading, the first thing that comes to your mind is a fancy, modern store. Well in the NYC Diamond District, things are different. All of the stores look dated and you will feel like we are on a time travel trip. Oh, yeah! Important advice: You will notice some shady guys hanging out here and there. Do not buy anything from them. Seriously! The area is full of hawkers that will try to sell you diamonds from the tissue straight from their pockets. Congratulations professor, these are fake! The hawking business in the Diamond District is as old as the district itself. These shady folks just became part of the scenery.
Let’s spend some cash!
When we enter the store and a very friendly salesman greets you, keep in mind that these salesmen are some of the best in the whole world. The diamond district was formed and is run by Orthodox Jewish families. That’s why we can’t go diamond shopping on a Saturday - most of the stores would be closed. The diamond district has its own rules and laws. The families are so strong and so tradition-oriented that if there is any problem among salesmen, you do not call the police. The first person to be called is the rabbi. If the rabbi can’t handle the situation, then the cops are coming in!. Hopefully, there will be no need for that, so now you can buy that shiny rock.
Firm handshake in exchange for a 1mil
Ok, here is the part where I need to prepare you the most. One of the most uncommon laws of the Orthodox Jewish salesman is that they will not sign any contract with you when you buy a diamond… It’s something called traditional blessing (mazel und brucha, which means "luck and blessing") and handshake. The tradition comes from the urge of the diamond traders to keep the identity of the buyer safe. So yes, you will pay out a million or two or even more, and the legitimate buying document will be a high-five. Mazel Tov! Let's get something clear, the handshake is considered to be a legitimate agreement only in Diamond district. Do not do this in Chinatown, please.
Change is the only constant in life, Greeks said. The same rule applies to the Diamond District. The NYC Diamond District also holds three prominent trade interconnected buildings: the 580 Fifth Avenue Exchange, the DDC, Diamond Dealers Club, and the International Gem Tower. Yes, A GEM TOWER! The glass facade is probably the best explanation of the wealth and luxury that can be found inside.
Congratulations! You got your first rock! Now, let’s get you ready with some fancy new clothes from the Fifth avenue!
You got this, buddy! Good luck!