October 11, 2004
WFDB Hosts Prepare for Congress
The Diamond Dealers Club of New York and the Diamond Manufacturers & Importers Association of America, hosts of the 31st World Diamond Congress, expect approximately 350 overseas guests for the congress, which will run Oct. 17-20 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Attendees will include officials from diamond bourses and diamond manufacturing organizations from around the world; leaders of the diamond, colored gemstone and jewelry sectors; and representatives from the consumer and trade press.
The World Diamond Congress, first held in 1947, serves as the forum for the two most important representative organizations in the diamond business, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association. The last time the congress was held in New York was 1982.
All formal sessions of the congress will be held at the Waldorf Astoria. Other events will be taking place in some of the city's landmarks, including a welcoming reception and dinner at the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center and a gala dinner in the Delegates Lounge at the United Nations.
To celebrate the World Diamond Congress, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a proclamation declaring the week starting Oct. 17 "World Diamond Congress Week."
"The congress promises to be both a most important and impressive event," says Jacob Banda, president of the Diamond Dealers Club of New York. "Its primary function is to tackle the issues on the agenda of the diamond industry, but it is also an opportunity to celebrate a business sector that provides a livelihood to literally millions of people across the globe. And with New York the gateway to the U.S. market, which accounts for about one half of diamond sales worldwide, it is most fitting that the event is taking place in our city."
A feature of the congress will be special lifetime achievement awards made to three leading individuals in the diamond business: Peter K. Gross the global head of the International Diamond & Jewelry Group at ABN AMRO Bank; Eli Izhakoff, the chairman of the World Diamond Council; and Lev Leviev, the head of the Leviev Group, one of the world's largest producers of rough and polished diamonds.