Before I discuss the Mumbai bombings, allow me to give you a little background: When I first started in the jewelry business over 30 years ago Jews dominated the diamond trade in Antwerp and New York. (1) Today if I need to buy or sell diamonds, especially small or colored diamonds, I deal with Indian diamond dealers.
Many of my readers may be surprised to learn that in terms of quantity more than 90% of the diamonds in the world are cut and polished in India (2) with Mumbai being one of the major cutting and polishing centers. Almost all of these are smaller stones while larger diamonds continue to be cut and polished in Antwerp, Israel and New York City.
I should also mention that Mumbai is home to The Bharat Diamond Bourse, the world's largest diamond exchange.
Missing from the major news reports regarding yesterday's Mumbai bombings was the fact that among the estimated 20 dead were a number of diamond brokers. One of the three bombs exploded close to the diamond market in the Opera House (3).
The first explosion took place in south Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar which was also one of the locations of the 13 bomb explosions that took place in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 12 March 1993.
Mumbai is a popular place for terrorist activities: some of my readers may also recall the 6 December 2002 bombing (the first in a series of five bombings in Mumbai during the next 8 months), the 27 January 2003 bombing in the Vile Parle railway station, the 13 March 2003 Bomb blast at Mulund Station, the 28 July 2003 blast, the 25 August 2003 twin car bombs, the 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings, and the 26 November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
If you are wondering why mumbaikars are a favorite target, it should be noted that Mumbai is not unlike New York City, it is the financial capital of India and will continue to have attacks like this as long as India allows Muslims to live, work and visit India.
wikia.com, Belgian Diamond Trade
The Jewish traders dominated the market until the 1970's when several diamond trading families from India immigrated and settled in Antwerp.
Roughly a decade after their arrival Indian traders accounted for a fifth of the local diamond revenues, while Jewish traders were responsible for the remaining portion.
Today those figures have reversed with the Indian traders generating three quarters of the revenues (Bilefsky, 2003).
India became the biggest manufacturer of diamonds replacing Belgium, Israel and America. Indian growth in diamond trade is amazing!!! more than 1000 times in 4 decades.
More than 90% diamonds ( by Pieces ) in the world are cut and polished in India nowadays.The major cutting and polishing centers are Mumbai and some cities in Gujrat e.g. Palanpur, Bhavanagar, Ahmedabad, Deesa, Surat and Navasari.
IDEX Online News, Explosions Rock Mumbai, a Number of Brokers Killed
Three bomb explosions rocked Mumbai around 7 pm on Wednesday, one of the bombs exploding right by the diamond market in Opera house, killing a number of diamond brokers...
A number of diamond brokers are among those confirmed dead, IDEX Online has learned.
According to witnesses, one of the bombs went off just outside the back gate of Panchratna in Charni Road, Mumbai's diamond hub, and a large number of wounded people are reported.