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Why is Antwerp a diamond hub?

84% of the world’s mined diamonds end up in Antwerp. This is why Antwerp is the center of the world diamond trade. How did this come about?

In the 17th and 18th century, Amsterdam and London were the leaders in the diamond trade. After WWII, trade started to slowy grow in Antwerp, due to the sound organization of import and export of the stones.

To help regulate the import and export of diamonds from Antwerp, in 1945, the government created the Diamond Office in the Antwerp diamond quarter. The goal of this facility was to make the trade in diamonds as smooth as possible, with minimal interference and red tape.

In 1974, the Diamond Office became part of the Hoge Raad voor Diamant ( HRD – Diamond High Council), which was established a year earlier at the initiative of the Belgian government and the industry itself, to promote and to protect the diamond industry in Belgium. In 2007,  the HRD became the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

Antwerp's diamond district is a good example current state of the global diamond industry, with Flemish, Jewish Orthodox and Indian diamond dealers who work alongside manufacturers and service providers, buyers and traders in rough and polished diamonds and processed diamonds from almost all countries where diamonds are mined, processed, sold and bought. The city is still home to a small but highly skilled group of diamond cutters who specialize in the processing of the most remarkable diamonds that come on the market. But Antwerp is first and foremost a business center, backed by the most sophisticated financial and commercial infrastructure, expertise and experience that are unmatched anywhere else in the world.