Zvi Yehuda, the diamond pioneer who invented the Sherlock Holmes machine and who was behind a string of industry innovations, has died at the age of 86.
He was just 16 when he realized he could recycle diamond dust from bruting and sell it back to diamond cutters for grinding.
He sold the idea to Israel’s Industry Ministry and soon became the country’s leading supplier of diamond power.
Yehuda, whose father was a diamond cleaver, had no formal training, but was blessed with a scientific mind, an entrepreneurial spirit and a good helping of chutzpah.
He went on to introduce the first digital diamond scales, the first diamond laser-cutting machine, the Yehuda process that makes certain inclusions “disappear”, a device for measuring rough diamond color and the Sherlock Holmes lab grown diamond detector.
“He was a great inspiration to a whole generation of people who thought that diamonds and technology could work together,” his son Roni said in a video called Zvi Yehuda – Diamond Industry Legend.
On the website of Yehuda Diamonds, the company he founded, he is described as “pioneer and innovator”. He introduced his first pioneering innovation in the diamond industry in 1953, when he was just 16, it says.
“His mind continues to run in turbo mode, always seeking the next invention. However, there is no doubt that the most astounding invention – the furthest ahead of its time, which became a natural part of the diamond industry today – was that of clarity enhancement of diamonds.”
He is survived by his wife, Meira, sons Roni, Dror, and Moshe, his daughter Yael Konigsberg, 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.