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The 570th birthday of the Antwerp diamond district

When was the 570th birthday of diamonds in Antwerp?

  • What did the Antwerp diamond celebrate in 2017?
  • How did the spread of diamonds begin?
  • What setbacks and successes did the Antwerp diamond experience during the 20th century?
  • What is the most recent evolution in the diamond sector?

There is no better place to shop for diamond jewellery or to find the perfect engagement ring than the vibrant diamond city of Antwerp! But why was 2017 a true celebratory year for the jewellers in Antwerp? Well, the story of the diamond in this bustling metropolis began exactly 570 years ago. We will make an inspiring journey through time, from the diamonds of the past to the diamond jewellery of the present that will soon complete your jewellery collection. Will you come with us?

  • 0.70 carat solitaire diamond ring in white gold with side diamonds From USD 2.070
    (excl. VAT)
  • 0.50 carat solitaire diamond ring in white gold From USD 1.100
    (excl. VAT)
  • 1.00 carat solitaire ring in white gold with side diamonds From USD 2.620
    (excl. VAT)
  • 0.50 carat solitaire halo ring in white gold with round diamonds From USD 2.510
    (excl. VAT)

What did the Antwerp diamond celebrate in 2017?

Not only the jewellers in Antwerp got to celebrate. Everybody who loves diamonds and dazzling jewellery was pampered with countless exhibits and activities, starting from October 2017. Reason enough to celebrate! Over 84% of all rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamond in the world pass through Antwerp. It won’t come as a surprise therefore, that over 1700 diamond companies and 4 diamond bourses are crammed together in one square kilometre of this metropolis.

How did the spread of diamonds begin?

More than 570 years ago, the first rough diamonds were imported from India. By the end of the 15th century, Antwerp was a primary diamond centre because of its direct connection to the North Sea. The first evidence of diamond trade can be found in 1477. That year, archduke Maximilian of Austria proposed to Mary of Burgundy with a diamond ring. Just like that, the tradition of a diamond engagement ring was born!

What setbacks and successes did the Antwerp diamond experience during the 20th century?

During the worldwide economic crisis of the 1930ties, many diamond businesses went bankrupt. It was the largest economic crisis of the 20th century and the future of the diamond workers and jewellers in Antwerp was hanging by a thread. Only after the Second World War did the sector revive and did Antwerp become the diamond capital of the world, mainly as a result of its well organised import and export.

To advance Antwerp as a centre for diamonds, the Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD) was established in 1973. This institute also provides diamond certificates. This way, you are always sure of the origin and quality of your loose diamond, diamond jewellery or diamond engagement ring that you have purchased with your Antwerp jeweller.

What is the most recent evolution in the diamond sector?

The most recent evolution in the diamond trade worldwide is the online sale of diamonds and diamond jewellery. Even though the knowledge and craftsmanship of the diamond sector are rooted in Antwerp, you do not have to visit this city yourself. Just as diamonds found their way to Antwerp 570 years ago, the Antwerp diamond is now finding its way to the worldwide web. This online trend will only grow in 2018, with more detailed applications for smartphones and countless inspiring blogs.

What if I’m not only looking for an engagement ring, but also for an investment diamond? Ask your jeweller in Antwerp online for advice.

Author: Inge de Wee
Source: BAUNAT

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