Jackie Roth (Chairman of HRD) meets the President of China and King of Belgium.

Our History

The fortune of a lucky star

Leon Fiszman, Saul Hirschel, Sali Klagsbrun.

Star Diamond was started in 1948 by four close friends and brothers-in-law as Europe was rebuilding itself after the devastation of World War Two. After fleeing their hometown of Antwerp as war broke out, David Klagsbrun settled in Cuba while Leon Fiszman, Sali Klagsbrun, Saul Hirschel settled in London, finding jobs in the diamond industry in which they had previously worked. They developed a reputation for exceptional skill in identifying, cutting and polishing diamonds. A master cutting diamond manufacturing firm in which they were silent partners, (Briefel and Lemer) was commissioned to cut the magnificent Williamson Pink diamond, which was presented to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 as a wedding gift by the owner of the mine where it was unearthed.

By 1948, the friends decided to strike out on their own, founding a diamond trading company they named Star Diamond, hoping that its name would invoke the good fortune of a lucky star. With offices in London and Antwerp, the company became known as a boutique diamond merchant with an inventive, exciting and visionary approach to business.

Star Diamond was particularly astute at anticipating buying trends and social shifts that influenced the market for diamonds and diamond jewellery, leading them to purchase large quantities of diamonds. De Beers noted their success, and in 1958 Star Diamond became De Beers sightholders, allowing them regular access to a large supply of rough diamonds. 

From this prime position, Star Diamond flourished, becoming one of the world’s leading diamond suppliers. A strong strategic vision led the company to establish a presence in the world’s diamond capitals, opening a New York office in 1963, where they distributed rough diamonds and formed partnerships with the major retailer Zales and supplied large clients like JC Penney.

The founders’ talent for spotting extraordinary opportunities led them to open an office in Israel, the home of world-class diamond cutters, and India, where its strong international relationships helped to nurture and grow the country’s fledgling diamond industry into its place today as the world’s largest diamond manufacturing centre. Star Diamond’s foresight also led it to join forces with mining companies in Russia at the time when diamonds were first discovered there.

As the next generation took the reins of the company, Star Diamond’s new directors increased the company’s links to the worlds of art and sport, with founder Leon Fiszman’s son Danny Fiszman becoming a director of Arsenal Football Club and masterminding the building of London’s Emirates Stadium, and Leon’s nephew Isi Fiszman financing Andy Warhol’s first film and building the core of Star Diamond’s considerable art collection.

Meanwhile in Antwerp, Jacques Roth propelled the family company forward, while promoting the Belgian diamond industry internationally, thanks to his trusted relationships within the international diamond community and within the Belgian government. Jacques Roth is today honorary chairman of the AWDC, the internationally respected governing diamond institution and former chairman of the HRD which issues diamond certificates, grading and jewellery reports. He is also vice president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

Diamond being polished on a diamond polishing tang

In 2011, a new chapter of Star Diamond began, with the creation of a pioneering gallery for design-driven fine jewellery in the heart of London’s luxury district, Mayfair.  Star Diamond Private Jeweller draws on over 60 years of expertise, experience and unrivalled diamond connoisseurship. 

With the inspired guidance of Jacques Roth, Star Diamond has reached new levels of influence, leading to the financing of Christian Dior’s first fine jewellery collection, which audaciously combined wood and diamonds. Continuing the company’s trend of staying years ahead of the market, Star Diamond opened an office in Geneva in 2002.

Loyal partnerships continue to be the cornerstone of the company’s philosophy, and Star Diamond maintains privileged relationships with De Beers.