Where to buy diamonds | BNT Diamonds
Antwerp: the centre of the diamond

Where to buy diamonds: Exploring the diamond centre of the world

24 Sep 21

For centuries now, diamonds have been Belgium’s best friend. The surprising centre of the world’s diamond trade lies in its Flemish region, in the city of Antwerp. But how did Antwerp become a renowned focal point of the world’s diamond trade? We will answer this question and cover the following topics in this article:

  • Why is Belgium famous for diamonds?

  • Antwerp’s diamond district in the spotlight

  • How to buy diamonds in Antwerp

Why is Belgium famous for diamonds?

Why is Belgium famous for diamonds?

Belgium, and more precisely, Antwerp, has been the global hub of the diamond trade for well over 500 years. Despite mounting competition from centres in the developing world, its commercial future seems solid.

Diamond cutting began in Antwerp in the 16th century, when Jewish people expelled from Spain and Portugal settled in Belgium, bringing with them the knowledge of diamond trading. Antwerp soon became the commercial heart of Europe, with 40% of the world’s diamond trade passing through its port.

However, by the end of the 17th century, Antwerp lost its status as the world’s diamond centre, and the focus shifted to Amsterdam. In the 18th century, Amsterdam took control of the world’s diamond supply and — understandably — kept the best stones for its diamond cutters, leaving Antwerp with low-quality uncut diamonds.

While this had the potential to be disastrous for Antwerp, instead it became a significant turning point as Antwerp cutters began to develop innovative methods to turn undesirable rough diamonds into fine polished gemstones.

When a new source of diamonds was discovered at the Kimberley diamond fields in South Africa in 1871, Belgium’s diamond industry gained a new lease of life. Huge quantities of rough diamonds made their way to Europe, and Antwerp’s diamond cutters were once again in business.

Skipping forward to 1904, diamond merchants founded the Antwerp Diamond Bourse, which is now a major global diamond trade hub that serves more than 2,000 international diamond traders and manufacturers.

Antwerp’s diamond district in the spotlight

Antwerp’s diamond district is perhaps the best place you can visit if you are looking for high-quality diamonds. The diamond district is barely 1 km2 in size and is made up of just five streets, three of which are pedestrianised. Yet, more than 85% of the world’s rough diamonds, 50% of its cut diamonds and 40% of industrial diamonds are traded in Antwerp, making it the world’s undisputed diamond centre.

The diamond district has 380 workshops that provide 1,500 companies with gem cutting and polishing services. With a desirable location right next to the Central Station in Antwerp and more than 8,000 people involved in the industry, Antwerp’s diamond district continues to attract visitors from all over the world, bringing massive wealth to the city.

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How to buy diamonds in Antwerp

For centuries, Antwerp has been synonymous with quality in the diamond industry. People travel from all over the world to get first-hand advice from Antwerp’s diamond specialists. Oftentimes, visitors spend hours searching for the perfect diamond. The seller will showcase unique diamonds — whether the buyer wants to incorporate them into exquisite jewellery pieces or they want to diversify their investment portfolio with a precious stone.

Shopping in the Antwerp diamond district means specialists can handpick diamonds for you to accommodate any of your requests. You will know that the diamonds are of the highest quality. However, there are things you need to consider before making a purchase:

Only buy certified diamonds

When buying diamonds, particularly for investment purposes, it is crucial that they are certified by a reliable organisation, such as the International Gemological Institute (IGI), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the High Diamond Council (Hoge Raad voor Diamant, or HRD).

A certificate from any of these accredited laboratories means you can be sure of the quality and price you paid for the diamond. Diamond specialists will assess the diamond’s quality based on the 4 Cs to offer you extra security when making your investment. This certificate is also vital for re-selling purposes, as it instils confidence in your buyer.

Enquire in advance

If you want to obtain personalised advice from a diamond expert, arrange appointments in advance with your preferred diamond offices. This will keep wasted time to a minimum and ensure your trip to Belgium runs as smoothly as possible.

Select an established diamond office

When making an investment as significant as a diamond, you need to carefully consider where to buy it. Make sure that, wherever you buy your diamond, they are 100% legitimate and offer high-quality expertise. Do research online before buying to ensure they have a solid reputation within the diamond trading industry.

Arrange an appointment with BNT Diamonds

At BNT Diamonds, we only sell high-quality, certified diamonds. As we purchase straight from the source, we are able to offer you the best price and maximise your return on investment. To help you choose the best investment diamonds, please consult our diamond specialists.

With this article, BAUNAT strives to inform you thoroughly about investing in diamonds. No investment can be guaranteed to be without risk or fully according to your expectations. That is why we recommend to research the risks and aspects of investing in diamond properly to ensure that you make the right choice for your portfolio.