With a career spanning over 50 years in the diamond and gemstone trade, this year’s winner of the coveted Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award, Harry Levy, has probably forgotten more about diamonds and gemstones than most people would ever profess to know.
Having initially gained a mathematics degree and beginning his career as a maths lecturer, it may not have been Levy’s original intention to spend his career in gems and jewellery but, given the number of official positions he has held and the extremely important work he has been instrumental in implementing, it is a very good job for the trade that this is where he ended up.
What started as a pastime, dabbling in gemstones alongside his lecturing career, soon became a full-time pursuit, with Levy quitting the academic world and founding his own company, Levy Gems.
Levy was named president of the London Diamond Bourse (LDB) in 2011, having previously served as its vice-president. In this role, he strives to uphold the core values of the industry and works tirelessly to maintain LDB’s strict standards and best practices among its members. He also promotes the LDB throughout the world in his capacity as a board member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
His other current positions include president of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A), vice-president of the CIBJO Diamond Commission, president of the International Diamond Council and chairman of the EU Commission CEN Nomenclature Standards for Diamonds.
In addition to all of that, he is a former chairman of the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) and has also served alternately as president and vice-president of the Coloured Stone Commission and served on the Laboratory Commission.
He gives all of his time to these various organisations for free and those who know him and have worked with him say he genuinely has the best interests of the industry at heart.
Now well into his 70s, Levy can still be found travelling the world in his various official capacities and is happy to speak publicly and in the press on various important issues affecting the trade.
One of his industry colleagues said that he is considered an “elder statesman of the trade”, while another added: “He has always striven to be a good shepherd, by gently fostering the diverse interests in our industry to come together and work towards a common solution.”
Extremely well-known and, more importantly, hugely well-respected, there can be no doubt that Levy is a very worthy recipient of this award.
Award sponsored by Clogau. Article credit, with thanks to Retail Jeweller & UK Jewellery Awards