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The Antwerp Diamond Market

    At the basis of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre lies its efficient infrastructure. Concentrated on a top security area of merely two square miles, it comprises more than 1,500 diamond companies and four diamond exchanges. Naturally, specialised banks, security and transport companies, brokers, travel agencies, hotels and restaurants are also well represented in the vicinity.

The fact that Antwerp functions as a major diamond trade and production centre worldwide, is reflected in the cultural diversity of the Antwerp community. Diamonds from Antwerp are exported in all directions, often to the far corners of the world. The Antwerp Diamond High Council serves both local diamond companies and foreign visitors. It is the umbrella organisation and official representative of the Belgian Diamond Business.

As to Antwerp’s share in the diamond trade, more than 80% of the world consumption of rough, polished and industrial diamonds passes through Antwerp. Most of the most important sight holders of the Diamond Trading Company (former De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd) reside in Antwerp. What’s more, Antwerp’s brilliance is not restricted to diamonds only. The city also enjoys international renown as a trade centre for precious stones such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds etc.

       The diamond trade and production go hand  in hand in Antwerp. The quality label ‘cut in Antwerp’ testifies to the superb skill of Antwerp’s diamond workers. Extensive training programmes in diamond schools and experimental workshops guarantee the transfer of traditional expertise as well as the constant use of new technology.

With its prominent position in trade and production, Antwerp was bound to develop a step stone for the production of diamond jewellery. Today, Belgian top level designers are numerous. HRD offers incentives for this trade, by organising the Antwerp Diamond High Council Awards and patronising a number of jewellery trade fairs.

Why buy diamonds in Antwerp?
- 8 out of 10 of all rough diamonds are handled in Antwerp
- 1 out of 2 of all polished diamonds passes through Antwerp
- Antwerp has the best diamond polishers in the world
- the most important international quality label is "Cut in Antwerp"
- the number one since the 16th century

These figures will testify to the position of Antwerp as the World Diamond Centre, considering the importance of Antwerp worldwide and its trading partners all over the globe, and ‘Diamond Centre’ referring to the employment rates and the highly concentrated diamond business on the Antwerp diamond square mile.

Foreign trade: non-European trading partners
In 2002 the Belgian diamond trade totalled 26.4 billion USD. This contributes for 7 % to the total Belgian foreign trade. Diamonds are Belgian’s first export product to 6 out of 10 of their most important non-European Union trading partners: USA, Israel, India, Switzerland, Hong Kong and China.
The total amount of shipments in 2002 aggregated more than 160,000.

Trade – Importance on world level
Contribution to total Belgian export 7%
Share in World rough supply 80%
Share in world polished supply 50%
Share in world supply of natural industrial diamonds 40%
Overall share in global diamond trade 60%

Antwerp diamond square mile
4 diamond bourses
4 diamond banks
1,500 diamond companies
300 workshops/factories
Total employment in trade and industry: 27,000



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