The World Diamond Council has paid a special tribute to De Beers Chairman Nicky Oppenheimer at the Gala Dinner which concluded the organization’s 8th Annual Meeting in Vicenza, Italy.
Presenting Mr. Oppenheimer with a silver plate to mark the occasion, WDC President Eli Izhakoff read the inscription which recognized the De Beers chairman for his many years of dedicated support for the World Diamond Council and the Kimberley Process.
“As a leader and a mentor [he] recognized the diamond industry’s potential to contribute to the wellbeing and future of all its stakeholders,” Mr. Izhakoff noted.
Speaking to gathering, Mr. Oppenheimer, who was accompanied by his son Jonathan and other senior De Beers officials, said that the World Diamond Council dinner would be the last industry event that he would address before his retirement from De Beers.
“Like the Kim berley Process, the WDC will also need to evolve to ensure that it can continue to represent the diamond industry effectively in its engagements with governments and other stakeholders,” Mr. Oppenheimer said. “The industry is growing in its global reach and new consumer markets, emerging trading and polishing centers and new producers must have an equal voice in the future direction of our industry as they stand alongside more established markets and producers. There is no doubt in my mind that the World Diamond Council’s success over the next few years will be measured in part by how effective it is in building bridges of understanding across the diamond pipeline to the benefit of both producers and markets.”
“As I contemplate an imminent change in my personal circumstances in the next few months, I am often reminded that only a diamond is forever. Be that as it may, I am confident that WDC and our industry as a whole take the steps necessar y to ensure that it can continue to promote the enormous good we are capable of achieving and to defend the integrity and of our unique and beautiful product. Doing so simply requires that we remind ourselves, once in a while, that the value of diamonds stems not just from their rarity, brilliance and beauty but from their ability to absorb, amplify and reflect the emotional and symbolic qualities that we vest in them at each stage in their journey from the mine to the finger,” he stated.
The dinner, which was hosted by the Fiera di Vicenza, was held in the Ca’ Marcello House, a grand16th century countryside villa set in the Veneto countryside.