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Local jewelry business bought by North Carolina-based chain

April 19, 2017

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Diamonds Direct announced Wednesday morning that it has purchased Indianapolis-based Distinctive Diamonds, which operates a local store and another in St. Louis.

The freestanding store in Indianapolis, at 8557 N. River Road at Keystone at the Crossing, will continue to operate as Distinctive Diamonds “for the time being,” Diamonds Direct said.

“We see great potential in Indianapolis and we are excited to introduce the Diamonds Direct concept to this market,” Diamonds Direct President Itay Berger said in a written statement.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in Charlotte in 1995 by Israel-based diamond manufacturer Alon Arabov, Diamonds Direct says it eliminates the middleman and buys directly from "the world’s best mines and most reputable diamond cutters." The company has 14 stores throughout the United States.

Diamonds Direct was acquired by private equity firm Blackstone Group for $180 million in November 2015 and has since added nine locations.

Distinctive Diamonds was founded in 2002 by Eli Benisty.

The buyer plans to retain existing Distinctive Diamonds staff. The jeweler’s 30 employees include salespeople, a gemologist and two master jewelers.

Benisty told IBJ that Berger, whom he’s known for years, approached him about a sale.

“The jewelry business is a very, very small industry and everybody knows everybody," said Benisty, who is will continue to lead local operations.

“What Eli built is unbelievable,” Berger said. “The foundation is so great and the business is doing so well. For us, it was a very natural step.”

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