Is Antwerp still the world’s leading diamond hub?

Posted by Rik Verkaart on

Boasting a rich history dating back to the 15th century, Antwerp has long been revered as the world's diamond capital. With its famous Diamantkwartier home to more than 1,500 diamond firms over a square mile, it's unlikely to be beaten off the top spot.  


In Antwerp there is a square mile at the heart of the Belgian city that is dedicated to the trading of diamonds. Known as Diamantkwartier, or the Square Mile, the diamond district started to establish itself as a global hub for diamond trading in the 15th century, thanks to the invention of a special tool.


The scaif was a diamond polishing tool invented by Flemish jeweller and diamond cutter Lodewyk van Berken that allowed craftspeople to create a diamond with multiple facets that emitted a brilliance far more powerful than that of earlier diamond cuts. This new invention attracted a glittering clientele to van Berken’s workshop in Antwerp, including Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgandy, who in the 1470s commissioned the cutting of a 137 carat light-yellow diamond that would become known as the Florentine Diamond.


Over the centuries more diamond businesses flocked to Antwerp and the city has maintained its status as a global diamond hub. In 2021, $37.23 billion of diamonds – 204.6 million carats – flowed through the Diamantkwartier, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). The AWDC estimates that 84% of the world’s rough diamonds and 50% of all polished diamonds pass through the city.


As the world's most trusted natural melee diamond supplier, it made sense that Dimexon should have a base to export diamonds from Antwerp. In the iconic Diamantkwartier diamond district is where you’ll find our European sales team, preparing our sustainable diamonds for shipment to our customers in the UK, Europe and the US.


All of our conflict-free diamonds start their Dimexon journey in India. The stones are cut and polished at our facility in Coimbatore before being graded and split into carefully calibrated parcels at our sorting house in Mumbai. At this point, the diamonds are sent to our office in Antwerp, where every stone receives a final quality check before being shipped direct to our clients, ready to be set into jewellery and watch designs. 


We buy our rough diamonds from trusted mining partners, and from that point on the stones never leave Dimexon hands. As a fully integrated ethical diamond supplier, we cut, polish, sort and sell our stones direct to our trade clients. We never use middlemen. This allows us to guarantee the authenticity of our natural diamonds and offer full traceability on our stones, which are tracked from mine to store using our award-winning SAP technology


When you place an order with Dimexon, our sales team in Antwerp will process it within 24 hours and your parcel of sustainably sourced diamonds will usually reach you, direct from the Diamantkwartier, within three business days. And for our customers in the UK, we would like to reassure you that we work with a specialist logistics partner to ensure deliveries from our European office navigate all required legislation to arrive safely and swiftly. After all, while the stringent quality control and carefully audited ethical supply chain that Dimexon offers is important to our clients, we also understand the value of speed in today’s fast-paced jewellery industry.   

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