Harry Levy, the former president and honorary life chairman of the London Diamond Bourse (LDB), has died at the age of 83, the exchange’s management announced Tuesday.
Levy was an LDB member for 57 years, having joined when he was 26. His stints as either president, vice president or chairman of the bourse covered more than 10 years.
“Harry was a truly all-round wonderful person, and he will be sorely missed by those that were fortunate enough to have known him,” said Alan Cohen, the LDB’s current president.
He was born Hanukkah Levy in Turkey in 1939 into a Persian-Jewish family and arrived in Britain as a young boy, according to a statement by the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO). Levy gained a master’s degree in mathematics and lectured in the subject while also dabbling in the gemstone trade, in which his family was involved.
He left academia to found Levy Gems in London, which became a respected company in the city’s Hatton Garden diamond district. He also held a degree in philosophy and was a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).
Levy made a broad contribution to the industry. He served on the executive committee of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), chaired the British Jewellers Association, and was the president of Gem-A.
He was also active at CIBJO, where he was president and later vice president of its diamond commission. One of his main achievements came in 2015, when he oversaw the creation of the first set of International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) guidelines for the diamond industry.
“Harry embodied the very best of CIBJO,” said CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri. “He was a true gentleman, soft-spoken, gentle, polite, and with an iron-clad moral compass. He also was completely dedicated to the mission of creating harmonized standards for our industry, combining the intellectual excellence of a true academic and the realism of an individual who earned his living as a gem trader.”
Image: Harry Levy. (London Diamond Bourse)