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The Valorous Woman
Ronit Rosenfeld – A Family History of Diamonds
By: Diamond World News Service
Jul 5 2014 6:01PM
Reference: 9295  

Ronit Rosenfeld wears many hats: mother, daughter, gym lover, diamond trader, economics graduate, French linguist, former hospitality professional, etc. But, the one hat that she dons with super ease and pride is diamond trader. Diamonds run in Ronit’s family line but it was not an obvious choice for her. She gained experience in marketing and hospitality trade and then heard her true calling of diamond trading. She was one of the few women to be a member of the Israel Diamond Exchange and her dynamic personality has earned her a sparkling reputation. Nurit Rothman tells us more about this powerful woman.

Ronit Rosenfeld is a rough diamond trader, B.A. in Economics and French Linguistics from Tel Aviv University. In 1946, Ronit Rosenfeld's grandfather met a family friend in a small synagogue he prayed at regularly. He confessed his fears for the future of his son Aryeh, who had just finished his studies. The friend suggested to the worried father that he send his son to learn the diamond trade with Anton Asher Dascal, who had founded the first diamond factory in Israel with his cousin Herman Tzvi Rosenberg. In order to fund his diamond cutting studies - then in demand - Ronit's grandfather mortgaged his home. The investment paid off, as young Aryeh's skill and drive brought his father pride, and impressed Dascal so much to the point that he offered him that he become partners with himself and YosiOstfeld and manage the 80 workers they employed at the factory they established in Jerusalem, and teach students. During the years 1957 to 1973, Aryeh Rosenfeld travelled to Antwerp, where he worked with rough and polished diamonds. The 1980s meant the end of an era for the diamond industry. Many diamantaires were forced to start from scratch. Aryeh Rosenfeld turned to diamond trading.

Ronit Rosenfeld already had a bachelor's degree and a good deal of experience in the labour market. After years of working for Scitex - the Israeli high-tech firm that dealt with developing, manufacturing and marketing technologies for the print industry - she decided to migrate to the United States. Before leaving, she came to the bourse to help her father trade rough diamonds for a few months. Those months turned into years, and the flight was delayed.

Ronit was among the first women to become a member of the Israel Diamond Exchange who were not the widows of IDE members. She was a trailblazer, skillful in her profession, as the first female diamond trader at the bourse - a trade in which even today there are few women. "Back then there were few rough diamond traders, there wasn't a lot of competition. There was an abundance of merchandise and room enough for everyone," she says. When there were very few women in the trading hall, her presence stood out.

In1992 she carried out her plan to seek out new challenges in the United States. In San Diego she worked in the hotel business. She was in charge of a hotel reception and lived the good life. After three years, she returned to Israel, to the bourse, and to her profession as a rough diamond trader.

Rough diamond trading requires a great deal of responsibility, as do all professions in which large sums of money are transacted and which require sorting, analysing and careful calculation of inventory. Over the years, I have observed Ronit working alongside her father respectfully and with dedication, and when I ask her to tell me a story about her experiences as a rough diamond trader, she remembers a story: Years ago, the owner of a diamond company with whom they did much business came to them and brought to their attention that sometimes when they would return packages, he would notice a disturbing difference in the weight of the package. Ronit and her father suspected a certain diamantaire, and decided to watch him to see if he was trustworthy. Her father went to his office and offered him a package. While the company owner sorted and analyzed, Aryeh Rosenfeld studied his movements through a hole he had poked in the newspaper that he pretended to read. He was shocked to see with his own eyes the man switch the diamonds with other stones.

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