Antwerp has been the world’s most important and reliable diamond centre for five centuries. A volume of diamonds worth $ 220 million pass through Antwerp every day. No fewer than 1,700 diamond companies are active here, accounting for 32,600 jobs. Ethically, too, Antwerp and the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) - the diamond sector’s umbrella organisation - have made much headway in recent years. Below, you will find out why Antwerp is the world’s most reliable diamond centre.
Until 2003, around 15% of the global diamond trade consisted of conflict diamonds, commonly referred to as blood diamonds. Especially African countries had a bad reputation.
Under the impetus of the United Nations and all countries concerned, the Kimberley procedure was developed. Since then, diamonds are accompanied by certificates to guarantee their purity. Diamonds are monitored from the time they are mined right up to their being cut and sold. The rough stones are sealed in 36 ways and acquire 3 different export certificates. Thanks to this approach, the proportion of conflict diamonds worldwide has dropped to a mere 0.2%.
The quality and value of a cut diamond are determined by the four C's; Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut. In Antwerp, the diamond sector has added another fifth C, namely Compliance.
Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. One carat equals 0.2 grammes. Nowhere else in the world are so many 1 or more-carat stones cut than in Antwerp. Simply because the craftsmanship and the master cutters reside in Antwerp.
Colour stands for the colour of the diamond. With the exception of Fancy Colors, colourless diamonds are the most valuable. Over 80% of cut diamonds have a yellowish tinge and are, therefore, less valuable.
Clarity or the purity of the diamond is determined by the number, size and location of inclusions or internal impurities and by external elements such as scratches. A pure diamond is a stone that shows no impurities under a magnifying glass that magnifies ten times.
Cut stands for grinding. The ideal proportions and level of finish are important. 'Cut in Antwerp' stands for a perfectly cut stone.
Compliance is the term that indicates that a person or organization operates in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. You can find more on the website of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Antwerp’s umbrella organisation of the diamond sector.
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This exhibition at the MAS kicks off the Antwerp diamond year 'Antwerp Diamond Capital since 1447', giving a taste of what is yet to come.
In response to 570 years of diamonds in Antwerp, an exclusive edition of the 'Antwerpse Handjes' will be issued and diamond pralines will be given a new look.