The city of DiamondsThe city of Diamonds
Antwerp is a city that sparkles. Decorated with a great history of diamond cutting, trading and wearing, this city is a must-stop for lovers of the indestructible gem. Although India was the main country for mining the rock, it was this small city in Belgium that had the tools and expertise to cut them into magical shapes. Take the time to visit the Diamond District and be dazzled by the rocks flooding the windows.
A history that shines
When thinking of a quality diamond the words ‘Antwerp cut’ or ‘Antwerp quality’ often come to mind. This is because it is the city of glittering carbon gems and has been for centuries. This city played an important role in the diamond trade once a direct sea route was discovered from India to Lisbon. The passage from Lisbon to Belgium was easy and the city was in the perfect position to distribute to the northern European countries.
Come the 16th century, this city was a well-known trading hub. Cutting the actual rocks was initially done by hand and there were very few with the skill set to do so. Those that could cut the gems were found mostly in Amsterdam and Antwerp. Then the Antwerpen cutter Lodewyk van Berken invented the Scaif. The Scaif is a polishing wheel that uses diamond dust and olive oil to cut diamonds symmetrically and is still used today.
Take a Diamond walking tour
To learn a little more about the girls’ best friend, join a walking tour
. For two hours get a different perspective of the city and discover its history. Walk with your tour guide from Central Station to the famous Diamond District and see the venders in the hustle bustle of haggling.
Stay just a short ten minutes’ walk away at Park Inn by Radisson Antwerp
and enjoy a stylish room in the center.