- Cooperation between HRD Antwerp and Chow Tai Seng.
- Trust building is essential.
HRD Antwerp opened mid-December the first Centre of Excellence in Shanghai (China), during an economic mission to China and South-Korea, led by the city of Antwerp. It is in cooperation with Chow Tai Seng (CTS). This partner has about 2.100 retail stores, spread across 23 provinces in China and also distributes the “Love 100 Antwerp”, a diamond design designed by the Belgian company Exelco.
Purchasing loose diamonds and the importance of certification
The Centre of Excellence will only offer diamond jewels and loose diamonds for sale that have been certified by HRD Antwerp. Synthetic diamonds being sold as natural ones is a serious problem in China. Ari Epstein from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) stated that many devices that can discern visibly indistinguishable fake diamonds from real ones, have already been sold from Antwerp. For HRD Antwerp it is a unique opportunity to obtain a foothold in one of the most prominent markets, thus the spokesperson.
China is worldwide the fastest growing and second most important export market for cut diamonds and is therefore top priority to HRD Antwerp. In a statement the organisation explained that the opening of a Centre of Excellence in Shanghai is an important step in the expansion of Antwerp presence in the Chinese diamond market. “A Centre of Excellence is a collaboration between a jeweller and HRD Antwerp. Because of the close partnership between a retailer and one of the leading authorities regarding certification, the retailer will gain the consumers’ confidence. Because of this, only diamonds with a HRD certificate are sold at the Centre of Excellence.”, thus the organisation. “In a Centre of Excellence the retailer is offered the tools he needs to understand the steps necessary to certify a diamond. This way, we can build trust with both the consumer and the retailer. Consumer trust is, summarised, the key to success and the message that HRD Antwerp wishes to convey is “choose wisely”. The tools were built around the 4 C’s and the fifth C, “Certification & Confidence”.”
During the mission, the Antwerp Port Authority also concluded a trade agreement with a South-Korean trade association. This, too, is a significant achievement for the Antwerp diamond trade. The Antwerp World Diamond Centre states that the South-Korean demand for diamond is increasing and that this market thus represents an enormous potential for Antwerp.
For information regarding the purchasing of loose diamonds, you can read the following articles: