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Article: Antwerp diamond district

Antwerp diamond district

Location and Surroundings

  • Adjacent to the Central Station (Antwerp Centraal)
  • A few minutes walk to Meir, Antwerp's main shopping street
  • The Antwerp Zoo is nearby
  • Numerous restaurants, bars, and cafes around the district


  • Antwerp has been a focus of the diamond trade since the 15th century
  • Lodewyk van Berken invented the scaif, a new form of diamond polishing tool, in Antwerp
  • Charles the Bold commissioned him to cut and polish the Florentine Diamond
  • Diamond industry established in Antwerp by families of diamond traders and manufacturers from Amsterdam in the 1890s
  • Decline in the industry starting in the 1960s, with some business moving to India

Diamond Trade

  • 84% of the world's rough diamonds pass through the district
  • Approximately 50% of rough diamonds return to Antwerp for cutting and polishing each year
  • Over $16 billion in polished diamonds pass through the district's exchanges annually
  • 380 workshops serve 1,500 companies
  • 3,500 brokers, merchants, and diamond cutters in the district

Trading Exchanges

  • Antwerp World Diamond Centre is located within the district
  • Four trading exchanges, including the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Beurs voor Diamanthandel
  • The Antwerpsche Diamantkring and the Vrije Diamanthandel are also present
  • Founded by Hasidic diamantaires
  • Dominated by Jewish, Jain Indians, Maronites Christian Lebanese, and Armenian dealers

Notable Events and Facts

  • The Antwerp diamond heist occurred in February 2003, with jewelry valued at over $100 million stolen
  • Antwerp has avoided European sanctions against Russia, with the industry claiming 10,000 jobs at risk if banned
  • Antwerp is known as the capital when it comes to diamonds
  • Over 80% of Antwerp's Jewish population works in the diamond trade
  • No business is conducted on Saturdays in the district

Antwerp diamond district Data Sources

Reference URL
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