World diamond centre
Around eighty percent of all rough diamonds pass through Antwerp on their way towards becoming earrings or other pieces of jewelry. Antwerps is home to both traders and cutters, to diamond schools and start-ups inventing new technologies to get even more brightness out of stones that have gotten an Antwerp Cut.
Daily, 220 million dollar worth of diamonds are traded, adding up to an amazing 48 billion dollars annually. On a surface of less than 1 square mile more than 1700 diamond traders are active. No other city in the world houses four diamond exchanges, controls 84% of the world’s trade in rough diamonds en 50% of the trade in cut diamonds.
Every diamond in the world passes at least once in Antwerp! In 2016, more than 202 million carat of both rough and cut diamonds were traded. Adding up to a total value of 48 billion dollar.
For over 5 centuries, Antwerp is the heart of the global diamond trade. The oldest documents to prove the existence of diamond trade in Antwerp date back to 1447. In Antwerp, the ancient craft is combined with modern technologies. The brilliant, the most popular diamond cut in the world, was created in Antwerp by Tolkowsky in 1919. Even today Antwerp remains pioneer in the development of new techniques.
Antwerp firmly says no to conflict diamonds. Since the approval of the Kimberley Process, Antwerp fulfills the role as global moral leader in transparency and compliance.
In collaboration with competent government agencies all diamond import and export is physically controlled by the Diamond Office, which serves as an example to many other diamond centers in the world.
Antwerp World Diamond Centre
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) defends the interests of the Antwerp diamond sector and promotes Antwerp diamonds around the world. AWDC also acts as a spokesperson and as a coordinator of all activities of the Antwerp diamond sector. HRD Antwerp provides commercial services. One of these services, besides gemology courses, research and development, is the certification of diamonds. This is done by the HRD Antwerp Diamond Lab, the first ISO certified laboratory that provides an objective description of a diamond’s qualities (the 4 Cs). Globally, HRD Antwerp distributes renowned certificates for diamonds, guaranteeing quality, tradition and transparency. As said, a diamond’s quality is determined by the 4 Cs: Carat (or weight), Colour, Clarity and Cut. Since every diamond is unique, determining the 4 Cs ensures that the diamond can be identified at any moment. The certificate thus functions as a diamonds ‘identity card.’
What AWDC can do for you
AWDC offers a wide array of services, information and benefits to Antwerp’s diamond professionals and those that wish to join our business community. Start up your own company, find out all there is to know on specific regulations and doing business in Antwerp, with the help of our business contact guide, find Antwerp registered diamond companies, learn all about imports and exports through the Diamond Office, our in-house Tender Facility or connect with the right employees for your company via our job platform. Browse through our data resources including documents, trade intelligence and useful publications and find answers on financial and fiscal questions.
Antwerp's Most Brilliant
When speaking about diamonds, people often refer to certificates, but there are two different kinds.
Rough diamonds have to be accompanied by a Kimberley Process certificate, guaranteeing these rough stones are conflict-free.
Polished diamonds on the other hand can be accompanied by a polished diamond certificate, preferably from one of three reputable diamond grading labs: HRD Antwerp, IGI or GIA. These labs confirm the diamond’s authenticity, whether it is a natural, lab-grown or treated diamond and describe its characteristics - Carat, Clarity, Cut and Colour.
When you are planning to buy a polished diamond, our advice is to always ask for a certificate from a well-reputed grading lab. Finally the city of Antwerp and AWDC introduced a quality label for jewelers called Antwerp’s Most Brilliant. The label provides consumers and visitors a guarantee of quality and strengthens the image of Antwerp as a centre for jewellery. Jewellers who are awarded the label fulfill 30 criteria and are audited by an independent accredited auditing office. Both creative jewelers with whom the design is central and diamond jewellers are eligible.
Thanks to this label the consumer can buy jewellery with confidence. Labelled jewellers are recognizable from the sticker in the shop window ‘Antwerp’s Most Brilliant Officially Certified Jeweller’. Antwerp’s Most Brilliant jewellers are listed in a free flyer available in 6 languages from Visit Antwerp.
Antwerp Loves Diamonds
Antwerp Loves Diamonds app
Thanks to this app, everyone can now discover how Antwerp, the diamond story started and what goes on behind closed doors in the diamond district. Learn everything there is to know about diamonds in Antwerp in the eight themes of this app, which virtually opens the door of this industry. This application is available in four languages and can be downloaded for free from the App store or the Google Play store.
Antwerp Loves Diamonds map
The ‘Antwerp loves diamonds’ map will take you on a tour of Antwerp’s diamond history. The map provides an overview of historical and contemporary venues, as well as unique tips and useful information about Antwerp as a jewellery city.
You can obtain a free map from the tourist information desks in Central Station (at the bottom of the escalator) and in Grote Markt. Opening hours: daily from 9 a.m. until 5.45 p.m., until 4.45 p.m. on Sundays.
Visit Antwerp provides guided group tours around the diamond district. This two hour guided walk allows visitors to find out together with a city guide what Antwerp means as a world centre for the diamond trade.
Visit behind the scenes
During this activity visitors will be given a glimpse behind the scenes of a diamond polishing workshop and a diamond exchange, places that an outsider never gets to see. A visit is possible for groups up to 20 people and can be booked through DIVA. Reservations necessary, minimum 4 weeks in advance. Visits only between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m.