Israeli Diamond Market Transparency Increasing

The Times of Israel reported that as a result of regulations that went into effect this week, Israeli diamond dealers are now “not allowed to accept more than NIS 75,000 ($21,000) in cash for a precious stone from retail customers.” Similarly, “[d]ealers conducting wholesale transactions with other dealers must report transactions over NIS 50,000 ($14,000).”

As quoted in the market news:

In addition, any deals that seem ‘suspicious’ must be reported to the authorities. A suspicious transaction, according to the Knesset Constitution Law and Justice Committee, which issued the orders, could be ‘a transaction that makes no economic sense’ — such as a seller offering a real ‘bargain’ on valuable stones — as well as deals with ‘a client who is a resident of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and other countries, trade with a terrorist or terrorist organization, and dealings with a client who seems unreasonably concerned with his personal privacy.’ The committee did not define just how ‘concerned’ a client was allowed to be before being suspected of nefarious intentions.

The new regulations are an update of laws against money laundering, which limits cash transactions between businesses in general to no more than NIS 20,000, That rule was not enforced in the diamond business. Until now, transactions in precious stones did not have to be reported at all.

Click here to read the full Times of Israel report.