What is the Antwerp diamond district?

  • What is the Antwerp diamond district?
  • Where is the diamond district situated?
  • How did the diamond district develop?
  • Why should I visit the diamond district?

You have probably heard a great deal of the Antwerp diamond district, also known as the Diamond Quarter (Diamantkwartier). It is known worldwide for its important role within the diamond market. Within this area, diamonds are bought, sold, polished and set in jewellery. But what makes the diamond district so special?

What is the diamond district?

The Antwerp diamond district is the world’s diamond centre and covers an area of around 1 km². In this small area, diamonds are bought, sold, sorted and redistributed, and contracts between traders are signed.

In Antwerp, rough diamonds - afterwards set in a beautiful jewel - are sold to diamond traders, to be cut elsewhere. But Antwerp is also the city where polished diamonds are reintroduced to the international trade.

Where is the diamond district situated?

The Antwerp diamond district is near the Central Station and takes up approximately five streets. The true heart of the professional diamond district occupies just three traffic-free streets: the Rijfstraat, Hoveniersstraat and Schupstraat.

In the other two streets, the Vestingstraat and Lange Herentalsestraat, many diamond-related businesses and diamond jewellery shops can be found, although they are generally less professional and focus more on tourists. The Pelikaanstraat and Appelmansstraat, too, have many small shops you can browse through, but they are again more tourist-oriented.

How did the diamond district develop?

The diamond district has a very rich history. Until the late 1970s, diamond was often traded in public spaces. However, as the importance of the diamond trade increased, the need for more formal ways of trading grew as well. As a result, centralised diamond bourses, auction houses and specialised facilities were introduced.

Over the centuries, the diamond district has relocated several times, switching from the Groenplaats to the Paardenmarkt and then to the Meir. In the late 19th century, early 20th century, it settled permanently near the Central Station.

At that time, the Central Station was the perfect location as trains were the only available means of transportation for diamonds.The rail connection with the Kempen area, meant the diamond district was also directly connected to the Kempen diamond cutters.

Why should I visit the Diamond district?

A visit to the diamond district is a must when visiting Antwerp, as there are a many fascinating sights to discover. Aside from all the beautiful jewellery shops in this neighborhood, you can experience the area’s rich history. Take a guided tour of the Antwerp diamond district or explore on your own.

Where can you purchase diamonds? When to invest in these beautiful gemstones?  Please contact our BAUNAT DIAMONDS experts for advice.

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