We lost Harry Levy this week. He was 83. Blessed be his memory.
Harry was, by all means, an industry giant. Throughout the many decades he worked in the diamond and colored gemstone industry and trade, Harry’s authority, influence, and contribution, were consistently felt and appreciated equally in both disciplines.
Initially, Harry had no intention of being part of our industry. After leaving university with a master’s degree in mathematics, Harry took a job teaching and lecturing in his professional field while supplementing his income with a job in a colored gemstone company. But soon after, he left the academic world to fully engage in the gemstone trade, founding his own company, Levy Gems, in London.
Throughout his long public career, Harry served the industry in a myriad of capacities. Over the years, he served, among others, several terms as Vice President of the London Diamond Bourse, served as its President, held the presidency of the British Jewellers Association (BJA), and was President of Gem-A, the Gemmological Association of Great Brittain.
At CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, Harry served alternately as President and vice president of the Coloured Stone Commission. He also served on the Laboratory Commission, and for ten years, until March 2008, served as President of the Diamond Commission.
Harry was asked to join the board of the IDC to foster greater understanding between CIBJO and the IDC, in particular, to help bridge the differences between IDC and CIBJO nomenclature.
Thus, Harry laid the foundations for harmonizing the IDC rules and the CIBJO Diamond Book (which mirrored, with various minor but sometimes contested differences, the IDC Rules Book).
Clearly, those who completed the work toward submitting and ratifying the ISO Standard 24016 for grading polished diamonds were standing on Harry’s shoulders.
Of course, Harry will be missed most because of his humanity, warm personality, and kindness. He was a friend of so many of us.
May his memory be a blessing to his family, friends, and colleagues worldwide.
Ronnie VanderLinden, President;
Jeffrey Fischer, Honorary President;
Ilan Kaplan, Vice President;
Matthew Schamroth, Secretary-General;
Melissa Smet, Treasurer.