President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses
Honorary Life President, World Federation of Diamond Bourses
Chairman, Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa
Born in 1947, Ernest (Ernie) Blom is a third generation member of a South African diamond family. As the son of one of the original group of diamond manufacturers who travelled to South Africa from Holland and founded the South African diamond cutting industry, Mr. Blom entered the business as an apprentice diamond polisher, qualifying as a cross worker after a five-year training period. In 1976, he became the factory manager at the plant in which he worked.
In 1978, he created Ernest Blom Diamonds, a polished diamond dealership. He obtained his rough dealing license in 1980 and a cutting license in 1986, when he set up Ernest Blom Diamond Cutting Works. He established B and E Diamond Enterprises in 1995, and was appointed a DTC sightholder that year.
Mr. Blom became involved in the public life of the South African diamond and jewelry industries from his early days as a polisher, already serving as the youngest ever vice president of the South African Diamond Workers Union at the age of 24. He has served as chairman of the Rough Diamond Dealers Association of South Africa from 1980 to 2005, revolving chairman of the Diamond Bourse of South Africa from 1980 to 2007, as the revolving chairman of the Diamond Foundation of South Africa from 1985 to 2007, chairman of the Diamond Merchants Association South Africa from 1995 to 2003, chairman of the Diamond Training School in Johannesburg from 1996 to 1998, chairman of the Sectoral Partnership Fund from 2001 to 2004, chairman of the Jewellery Council of South Africa from 1998 to 2005, and chairman of the Diamond Dealers Club of South Africa from 2003 to date. As a Board Member on the Diamond Regulator of South Africa, he is a Chairman of the Master Diamond Cutters Association of South Africa from 2007 to date.
Mr. Blom has been active in the international sphere as well. He was a founding member of the World Diamond Council in 2000. In 2002 he was elected vice president of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, and was elected its president at the World Diamond Congress in Tel Aviv in 2006 and served a two-year term. At the 33rd World Diamond Congress in Shanghai he was elected WFDB vice president, and was appointed an Honorary Lifetime President of the WFDB. He also serves as member of the CIBJO President’s Council.
Mr. Blom is also involved in public and community work outside the diamond and jewelry sector, serving as chairman of a children’s home for seven years and as a member of his church council for five years. An avid conservationist, he also is a qualified game ranger, and has served as National Chairman of the Honorary Game Rangers Association of the South African National Parks from 1996 to 2005.