Have you and your beau recently moved to NYC? Are you looking to relocate your family in Manhattan? Apartment jumping as a young bachelor/bachelorette among the Big Apple? Regardless of how you got here— “here” being in Manhattan’s Midtown area—you are bound to find yourself among Manhattan’s Diamond District eventually. With the area being one of the largest diamond hubs on earth, the Diamond District is hard to miss.
Cut. Clarity. Color. Carat Weight. The 4 C’s of NYC’s Diamond District aren’t very different than the standards used to measure a diamond’s value…
CUT – Location
Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues on 47th Street gleams the jewelry lover’s paradise. NYC is one of the top diamond centers in the world alongside Antwerp, London, Johannesburg and a few others.
The Diamond District is located steps away from Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. The ultimate spot for some Holiday gift shopping!
CLARITY – History
It all began when diamond merchants claimed downtown Manhattan’s Canal Street and Maiden Lane. All the way up to the 1920s, soon-to-be brides were insistent on receiving their engagement rings from the Financial District’s Maiden Lane.
Dealers migrated to the area from 2 other previous NYC districts: One district close to Canal Street and the Bowery, and the second migration coming in from the Financial District near the intersection of Fulton and Nassau Streets.
The area really became popular in the 1940s after a wave of Orthodox Jewish immigrant jewelers fled the Netherlands and Belgium during Nazi invasion and set up shop in NYC.
COLOR – Distinguishing Characteristics
Traditionally, most diamond deals are finalized with a handshake and a simple “mazel und brucha” meaning “luck and blessing”. Brush up on your Diamond District slang with this NY Times article.
The district is often filled with commission-based pushers seeking business for street level stores. Most of the businesses are located inside a public corridor that leads to 46th Street, or in the area’s 25 “exchanges”.
NYC’s Diamond District is home to one of the Gemological Institute of America’s many locations around the globe—the training center for gem dealers.
Another feature that distinguishes the Diamond District from other NYC areas is the presence of diamond-motif street lights on every corner.
CARAT WEIGHT – District Statistics
Manhattan’s Diamond District is home to roughly 2,500 independent jewelers selling the planet’s most valuable jewels and gems.
One day of business in the Diamond District can generate nearly $400 million.
Today, Manhattan’s Diamond District is ones of the top two oldest surviving jewelry districts in America—second only to Philadelphia’s Jewelers’ Row.