How did buying diamonds in Antwerp first come about? | BNT Diamonds

What is the history of buying diamonds in Antwerp?

  • Where do diamonds come from?
  • Where are most diamonds found?
  • How did Antwerp become the diamond city?
  • How can I buy online diamonds in Antwerp?

Today the diamond sector is a very professional industry, but that used to be quite a different story. After all, the very first diamonds were not mined by industrial diggers, but were usually found by chance. So how has the diamond industry evolved over the years? How did they end up in Antwerp?

Where do diamonds come from?

Diamonds were curiosities which used to simply be picked up off the ground in India from the 8th to the 12th century BC. The stones were found in kimberlite sludge along the riverbeds. Virtually all diamonds came from India until the late 19th century. They also produced by far the whitest diamonds. The Indian dominance ended at the end of the 19th century.

From that point onwards South Africa appeared to be the new Walhalla for diamonds. That is where the Kimberley mine can be found, also known as ‘The Big Hole’. This acquired its name from the same kimberlite, which protects the diamond against lava when it comes up to the surface.

Where are most diamonds found?

Numerous new diamond mines in Africa opened at the start of the 20th century, including Namibia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Botswana and Congo. Siberia and Russia also started emerging in the nineteen fifties. Even more recently Australia also became a rewarding location as a result of the Argyle mine. The latest newcomer is Canada.

How did Antwerp become the diamond city?

When did Antwerp become the diamond city?

Antwerp already took on a leading position in the diamond trade back in the 16th century. The higher class would already be able to easily buy diamonds in Antwerp at that time. The separation of the Northern Dutch provinces in 1581 put that leading position under pressure. Amsterdam and London had control until the 18th century. The prevalence did not return to the diamond city of Antwerp until the nineteen twenties.

The elite were once again able to easily buy diamonds in Antwerp soon after WWII as a result of the excellent organisation of imports and exports. The Antwerp diamond trade got back on track and never stopped growing.

How do the diamonds end up in Antwerp?

The diamonds for Antwerp used to be transported by train and were cleared in the Jezusstraat post office. Employees from the Diamond Office would go and collect the first shipments from the post office on foot. At a later stage the diamonds would be cleared in the post office on the Groenplaats in Antwerp and sent to the Diamond Office by taxi. The Diamond Office in the Pelikaanstraat checked and distributed the diamonds.

The Antwerp X branch opened up next to the Diamond Office in 1970. From that point on the checking of paperwork and shipments was done in the presence of the customer. Diamond shipments were then still sealed with wax, depicting the Diamond Office stamp, as well as the customer’s or bank’s.

What does the Antwerp diamond trade look like today?

These days 80% of all the global rough diamonds go to Antwerp. The customs clearance and inspection is done by the Diamond Office. Passage for the diamond trade between EU member states is no longer required, but many traders still arrange to have everything checked.

How can I buy diamonds online in Antwerp?

You do not need to visit the city centre to buy diamonds in Antwerp. You can simply do so online, the latest revolution in diamond trading. You can choose from the extensive supply of diamond jewellery or investment diamonds with reliable online diamond dealers. These diamonds are carefully selected, in order to make sure the ideal diamond for you is found. Reliable diamond dealers can be recognised by their certificates issued by globally renowned diamond institutions, such as GIA, IGI and HRD.

When can I start investing in diamonds? You can instantly buy reliable diamonds in Antwerp with diamond expert BNT Diamonds. Get in touch now for a no-obligation quotation and advice about your investment.