Averaging $400 million a day in diamonds sold, the Diamond District in Midtown Manhattan is one of the primary centers of the global diamond industry. An estimated 90% of diamonds in the United States enter through New York. There are 2,600 independent businesses located in the district, nearly all of them dealing in diamonds or jewelry. The area is one of the primary centers of the global diamond industry, as well as the premier center for jewelry shopping in the city. It is one of the largest diamond and jewelry districts in the United States, along with Jewelers' Row, Philadelphia and Los Angeles's Jewelry District, and it is the second oldest surviving jewelry district in the United States after Jewelers' Row in Philadelphia. Most are located in booths at one of the 25 "exchanges" in the district, and in a public corridor to 46th Street. Commission based hawkers are also a common sight and they usually solicit business for stores located on the street level.
47th Street is an east–west running street between First Avenue and the West Side Highway in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs one way along the street, from east to west, starting at the headquarters of the United Nations. The street features the Diamond District in a single block (where the street is also known as Diamond Jewelry Way) and also courses through Times Square.
The Diamond District is between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The district was created when dealers moved north from an earlier district near Canal Street and the Bowery that was created in the 1920s, and from a second district located in the Financial District, near the intersection of Fulton and Nassau Streets, which started in 1931, and also at Maiden Lane, which had existed since the 18th century. A notable, long-time anomaly of the district was the famous Gotham Book Mart, a bookstore, which was located at 41 West 47th Street from 1946 to 2004.
The move uptown started in 1941. Another factor in the northward move was the co-location of finance and insurance companies who moved into the downtown districts, causing rents to drastically increase. By 1941, the Diamond Dealers Club—an exclusive club that acts as a de facto diamond exchange and has its own synagogue—officially made the move up to midtown as well.
Many deals are finalized by a simple, traditional blessing (mazel und brucha, which means "luck and blessing") and handshake. Retailers with shops line the streets outside. At 50 West 47th Street is the Gemological Institute of America which trains gem dealers. One distinguishing figure of the district is the diamond-motif street lights illuminating the corners. The NYC Diamond District also holds three prominent trade interconnected buildings: the 580 Fifth Avenue Exchange, the DDC, Diamond Dealers Club, and the International Gem Tower. It is also steps from other landmarks such as Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall.
In Popular Culture
Seen in the John Schlesinger film Marathon Man (1976) with Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman.
Seen in the closing scene of the Mike Nichols film Closer (2004), starring Natalie Portman and Jude Law.
The 47th Street Diamond Exchange was featured in the 2009 film New York, I Love You in a segment with Natalie Portman and Irrfan Khan.
"Memories on 47th St." is the second song on Vic Mensa's studio album The Autobiography (2017).
The City of New York, often called New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described uniquely as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.