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Why is Antwerp known as the diamond city?

  • How did the diamond arrive in Antwerp?
  • How did Antwerp regain its position?
  • What does the current Antwerp diamond market look like?

  • People all around the world know that Antwerp is the place to be if you’re looking for a diamond. The city raised the craft of diamond cutting up to a higher level and developed unique expertise and a cast iron reputation through the centuries. But how did the diamond first arrive in Antwerp? How did we maintain that position?

    How did the diamond arrive in Antwerp?

    Antwerp has been a strong diamond centre from as early as the 16th century. Modern diamond cutting was invented by a Bruges resident in the middle of the 15th century and the techniques were perfected by the Kempen cutters. The reduced harbour activity in Bruges shifted the global import of diamonds to Antwerp and the diamond sector blossomed in its new harbour city. However, this newly bustling diamond city was only short-lived. The Northern Netherlands separated from the Southern Netherlands at the end of the 16th century, after which the London and Amsterdam diamond dealers ruled the roost.

    How did Antwerp regain its position?

    Antwerp didn’t regain its position at the top of the diamond industry until the start of the 20th century. Even though the city was nowhere near the top, the diamond industry continued to exist in Antwerp. Cutters perfected their crafts and the market remained small, but they did actively keep up with the times. The elite could easily buy diamonds again after the Second World War, as a result of the well organised import and export of diamonds in Antwerp, irrespective of where the diamonds had come from.

    What does the current Antwerp diamond market look like?

    The city started experiencing significant growth again at the start of the 20th century and didn’t stop. Nowadays approximately 80% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through Antwerp. Plus the diamond’s cut quality in Antwerp is also renowned right across the world. Not just in the diamond sector, as Antwerp has managed to maintain its top reputation by always offering the same quality, whilst constantly innovating. This means you can’t just buy diamonds in Antwerp from a physical jeweller, but nowadays there are also innumerable possibilities for buying your jewellery online. Antwerp: the diamond city, and with good reason too. Are you looking for your ideal diamond jewellery in Antwerp? Can’t wait until you have the perfect diamonds in your hands? Then make an appointment in our showroom in Antwerp now or ask BAUNAT’s diamond experts for advice.

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