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Antwerp the Diamond Center of the World

Antwerp the Diamond Center of the World

Antwerp has been the nucleus of the world diamond trade since the 15th century, a title that holds a lot of weight - one of the many reasons this small Belgian town has been put on the map. (And of course, its waffles and chocolates!) 


One of the key reasons that Antwerp became the diamond hub is because of its location. Antwerp is very literally in the middle of Europe and because of its port, well connected to other ports of the world. Since the first diamonds were mined in India, Antwerp was able to connect the diamonds mined in India to the rest of Europe, which was where the demand lied in those days. Eventually, a whole trade centre started to establish here, where rough stones brought from India were polished in Antwerp, traded here, and sent all across Europe. The expertise of the diamond handlers in Antwerp spread fast. The King of France, François I, started commissioning his diamonds from the master cutters in Antwerp rather than in Paris. Antwerp’s diamond district has flourished and grown in repute ever since.  


A flourishing diamond trade attracted many a skilled craftsman, taking the process of diamond manufacturing to the next level. One such name, that transformed the industry, was Lodewyk van Bercken. In 1476, he invented a new form of diamond polishing which enhanced the brilliance of the diamond considerably. He enabled the cutting of diamonds into precise, clean facets with far superior light refractions. This also led to the invention and ease of cutting diamonds into different shapes. The first pear shape diamond by Van Bercken shortly followed the invention of the scaif. Today, we owe our ability to cut diamonds with absolute symmetry and with a variety of facets to this Flemish diamond cutter. 


As a result of this rich history, Antwerp has retained its well-earned reputation and now 85% of the world’s rough diamonds, 50% of the polished diamonds and 40% of industrial diamonds pass through the city, solidifying its continued status as the diamond capitol of the world. The Antwerp Diamond District or Diamond Quarter (Diamantkwartier), which is an area of about one square mile, is the largest diamond centre in the world with a turnover of $54 billion a year. Today, approximately 1500 diamond firms are located in Antwerp, which is by far the largest concentration in the industry. Subsequently, every major diamond mine in the world ships to the city and the district is ate the forefront of diamond innovation.  


As a brand, we are proud to be based in Antwerp, where we get access to the latest techniques and developments of the jewelry world. We also find inspiration for our fine jewelry in Antwerp’s rich cultural, artistic, and architectural heritage. As a result of our location, we have the expertise and availability to compare our lab-grown diamonds to their considerably more expensive natural counterparts and we, like all other experts, have found there is no difference except origin and the only contrast is a more affordable price and a significantly smaller ecological impact! Therefore, we specialise in lab-grown diamonds paired with historic, fine jewelry craftsmanship.