Most people accept that Ian Fleming named the villain in his 1964 James Bond novel after architect Erno Goldfinger, who lived down the street from Fleming. However, a devout few still believe that Goldfinger was actually the product of Fleming's chance encounter with legendary diamantaire, Joseph Goldfinger, whom he met on a fact-finding trip to Charterhouse St. Joseph Goldfinger would later become known as "Mr. Diamond," and may credit him with putting the Israeli diamond industry on the map.
Joseph Goldfinger was born in the 1920s in Lithuania. He was studying to be a rabbi when World War II forced him from his home and sent him to Palestine. Once there, he continued his religious studies and made a living as a teacher. In 1944, he entered the emerging diamond industry in Netanya as an apprentice cutter and began dealing in both rough and polished diamonds. Just two years later, he would partner with a good friend and fellow Lithuanian Zorach Fluk to form Goldfinger-Fluk, an independent diamond manufacturing company in Tel Aviv. In 1949, De Beers invited Goldfinger to London to attend one of their Sights. Later that year, Goldfinger-Fluk would become one of the first DTC Sightholders in Israel.