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Revitalising New York’s 47th Street
A recent study of the diamond and jewellery industry on New York’s 47th Street focuses on the important role it plays in the city’s and country’s economy.
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 28 2011 3:40PM
Reference: 6425  

A recent study of the diamond and jewellery industry on New York’s 47th Street focuses on the important role it plays in the city’s and country’s economy, and recommends a number of steps that are needed to ensure that the precinct continues to be a key industry hub in the years to come. Diamond World presents an overview, and reproduces some extracts from the study.

It has always been one of the iconic centres of the global diamond and jewellery industry, representing not only the nodal hub through which jewellery enters the US, but also a key focal point of the high end retail trade. Yet, 47th Street, the locality that houses New York City’s diamond and jewellery industries, has aged, and though it continues as a key economic centre, there are signs that it could face a decline if appropriate steps are not taken. Against this background, the Empire State Development Corporation commissioned a study of the industry, its impact and its future, and the report has recently been published by the 47th Street Business Improvement District (BID). It was prepared by the Pratt Center for Community Development.

The year-long study has shown that diamonds are New York State’s number one export product and jewellery ranks in the number three spot. In 2009, the two sectors had an estimated economic impact of US$ 24.2 billion, and provided US$ 4.2 billion worth of added value to New York City through wages, profits and indirect business taxes.

The report represents the first in-depth analysis of New York City’s famed Diamond District in twenty years. Amongst its conclusions, the study found that while today’s District remains a vibrant hub for the diamond, gem and jewellery trade and a strong contributor to the New York economy, there are challenges that threaten its future vitality. These include competition from abroad, an aging local workforce and a declining physical environment. New York’s diamond and jewellery trade has welcomed the study, its findings and its recommendations.

Moshe Mosbacher, then President of the Diamond Dealers Club, said soon after the report was released, that “(It has)….. confirmed empirically what we have long known instinctively, and that is that the diamond and jewellery industries play an absolutely critical role in the economic life of the city and the state, and that decisive action is required to secure their long-term future.”

The Diamond Dealers Club has played an important role in the establishment of the Diamond District on 47th Street, which largely developed following the decision by the DDC in the 1940s to move its headquarters here from lower Manhattan. Mosbacher also noted, “Today, with our close to 2,000 members, we still consider our Club to be the anchor of the diamond trade in New York City. As the report points out, the DDC is currently in the midst of a massive membership drive, which not only will serve to strengthen our organisation, but also the position of the American diamond sector and business community on 47th Street.”

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