- What is the Antwerp diamond district?
- Where is the diamond district?
- How did the diamond district come to be?
- Why should I visit the diamond district?
Real diamond aficionados already know that Antwerp and diamonds are a more than successful marriage. For over 500 years, this city has been known as the diamond capital of the world. BAUNAT and BNT Diamonds also quickly conquered their permanent position among its many diamond traders. You can come to us for buying loose diamonds in Antwerp, to invest or to set your diamonds purchased at BNT Diamonds into jewellery. But what makes the diamond district so special?
What is the Antwerp diamond district?
With an area of about 1km2, the Antwerp diamond district is very limited in size. Yet it is the perfect spot for buying diamond in Antwerp and, by extension, in the whole world. This small community sees contracts between traders and the buying and selling of batches of diamonds, which are then sorted and redistributed.
In Antwerp, the rough diamond, which is ultimately set into beautiful jewellery, is sold to diamond traders that will have them cut elsewhere. Today, this cutting is often done in high-tech cutting centres in India, for example. But Antwerp is also the place where the cut diamond re-enters the international trade market. According to statistics, 80% of all polished diamonds in the world will have passed through Antwerp at some point in the trading process.
Where is the diamond district?
The Antwerp diamond district is close to the Antwerp Central Station and consists of five streets, with three traffic-free streets (Rijfstraat, Hoveniersstraat and Schupstraat) as its beating heart.
The other two streets, the Vestingstraat and the Lange Herentalsestraat, are also home to many a store with diamond jewellery and people who make their living in the diamond industry, but those stores are mostly less professional and more aimed at tourists.
The Pelikaanstraat and the Appelmansstraat also offer many stores to browse, but these stores are also mostly aimed at tourists. The Pelikaanstraat is also home to the renowned Antwerp Diamond Bourse, where diamonds are bought and sold for large sums of money.
How did the diamond district come to be?
The diamond district has a very rich history. In years past, diamond was often simply traded on the street and, a little later, in other public places. This definitively changed at the end of the Seventies. The diamond trade became increasingly important for Antwerp, as it traded diamonds daily for many millions of dollars. There arose a need for another method of trading, one which was better regulated and had a more formal character.
Under the influence of that necessity, specialized trading locations were established, such as auction houses, diamond exchanges and certification agencies. The three largest agencies (GIA, IGI and HRD) each have an office in Antwerp.
Over the centuries, the diamond district has moved throughout Antwerp multiple times. First, the diamond district was located near the Groenplaats, from which it moved to the Paardenmarkt. Then, the Meir became the Antwerp diamond district. However, around the end of the 19th and start of the 20th century, the diamond district conquered its fixed spot near the Central Station.
It was no coincidence that many diamond traders ended up setting up shop in that neighbourhood. The train was a very important mode of transport for diamond. The train was crucial for both import and export. The train connection with Kempen was also very good. This connection was of decisive importance, because many diamonds used to be cut by the citizens of Kempen.
Why should I visit the diamond district?
A visit to the diamond district is an absolute must for any trip to Antwerp. It has many highly interesting attractions. You can drift away in the beautiful displays of the many jewellers in this area and the rest of the neighbourhood tells a great story about the rich history of this district. You can hire a guide or explore the area on your own accord.
What is the best place to buy your diamonds? When should you invest in the beautiful gemstone? Receive advice from the diamond experts at BNT Diamonds via mail or chat or call us at the number +32 3 201 24 90.