Antwerp—Capital of Diamonds

Antwerp—Capital of Diamonds

For centuries, the quest for the perfect diamond that symbolizes love and beauty has been attributed to the vivacious city that lies on the River Scheldt—Antwerp. The place was transformed into the mecca of diamond trade after the Flemish jeweler, Lodewyk van Berken, invented ‘scaif’, a diamond polishing tool, in 1456. This tool allowed craftsmen to make complex cuts with precision—a process that was previously impossible to attain. With the help of the tool, new techniques in diamond cuts were developed, improved and honed, leading to the respectable reputation of the city as a hub of diamond specialists.

Even today, after more than 500 years, the city has retained its position as the giant in diamond trading. With 60 (rough)-80% (polished) of all diamonds cut and traded within the city, Antwerp takes the crown of being the World’s Capital of Diamonds, and wears it with pride.

The History

It was during the 17th century when Antwerp fell behind in the diamond trade and Amsterdam and London stepped forward to the crown title of the diamond hub. It was in the 20th century that the government set up the Diamond Office to regulate and ease the import and export of diamonds. After that, the trade accelerated and expanded, traversing through Africa and all the way to India, and finally, Antwerp won back its title. Today, Amsterdam may be known for its tulips, and London for its landmarks, but it is Antwerp that is known for the best diamonds.

With this rich history, the diamonds from the city of Antwerp instils a feeling of quality and class. With its continued provision of premium quality diamonds, it seems that the city can maintain its position in the future as the world’s diamond centre.

The Best Diamond Markets in Antwerp

The diamond district houses diamond trade markets (diamond bourses). The four most important include the following:

  • The Beurs voor Diamanthandel
  • The Diamond Club van Antwerpen
  • The Vrije Diamanthandel
  • The Antwerpse Diamantkring

Each of these markets specializes in in different areas—the Beurs voor Diamanthandel for cut diamonds, the Diamond Club and Vrije Diamanthandel for both rough and cut diamonds, and De Antwerpse Diamant Kring for rough diamonds. Due to the sensitive nature of the work, the membership process for any of these markets is very restricted.

Diamond House Jewellery has a membership of the Diamond Bourse, the oldest in the world, and proudly invites people to visit its main office and showroom in Antwerp.

Because we buy diamonds directly from the cutters in Antwerp, the need for middlemen is eliminated, and we are thus able to provide higher quality diamonds in (sometimes a lot) less the price when compared to branded shops. Usually, you save about 40% when buying with us.

Additionally, we are also able to provide our customers the following:

  • Biggest selection of diamonds, we have access to an $8 bio database worth of diamonds
  • Convenience of receiving Antwerp quality diamonds
  • Diamonds that meet specific cut, carat, colour and clarity criteria
  • Fancy coloured diamonds
  • Handmade designs to meet custom specifications
  • Rare diamonds

Contact us if you need to discuss your diamond needs.