Why is Antwerp the Diamond Capital of the World?

Posted on Monday, November 30th, -0001 at 12:00 am by Rick

Why is Antwerp the Diamond Capital of the World?

Antwerp and the Diamond Industry

Antwerp is the undisputed diamond capital of the world. With 84% of the world's rough diamonds and 50% of cut diamonds passing through, the city attracts international traders seeking the highest quality diamonds. But how did Antwerp become the diamond capital of the world? Learn about the city's history, from its origins as a trade hub to the modern day Diamond Quarter.

The World's First Stock Exchange
Before it was known for its diamonds, Antwerp was the most important trading and financial center in Western Europe. It's location on the river Scheldt connects the city to the North Sea, facilitating its trade success during the early 14th century. The world's first stock exchange was developed in Antwerp at this time, and traded valuable materials such as diamonds, gold, silver, and copper.

Antwerp Becomes the Diamond Capital of the World
The Antwerp diamond exchange was established around 1456, when a local diamond polisher invented a type of polishing wheel called the scaife. The instrument was able to polish all of a diamond's facets symmetrically to achieve the sparkle that we're accustomed to today. This invention increased orders among the European aristocracy and attracted many diamond craftsmen– establishing Antwerp as the diamond capital of the world.

The Antwerp Diamond Quarter

Home to 1,700 diamond firms, Antwerp traded a total of $46 billion in diamonds during 2017. The Antwerp Diamond Quarter, also known as the Diamond District, holds four of the world's thirty diamond exchanges. Though the area is only one square mile, it is the center of Antwerp's diamond trade. With 84% of the world's rough, or uncut, diamonds passing through, Antwerp is the place for custom jewelers to select the highest quality diamonds.

Sanders' Antwerp Adventure
Sanders Jewelers will be traveling to Antwerp in October 2018 to hand-select the most beautiful diamonds for our custom jewelry. We are excited to be the first jewelers in Gainesville, Florida to embark on a buying trip to the diamond capital of the world. If you're interested in creating your own custom piece with us, there has never been a better time! Give us a call at (352) 331-6100 to schedule your custom jewelry consultation, or visit our website to learn more about our fine jewelry.