Posted on Sunday, July 7th, 2013 at 7:22 pm by Debbie
Until the 15th century, diamonds were ‘cut’ with a mallet and chisel. Those diamonds that didn’t shatter were then struck with other diamonds to achieve a better shape. They looked something like unpolished balls with cut edges!
Then in the late 1400’s, a combination of olive oil and diamond dust drew artisans from far and wide to Antwerp, Belgium to learn a revolutionary new cutting technique.
Lodewyk van Berken, an Antwerp diamond cutter, invented the scaif. The scaif was a manually operated bronze wheel encrusted in diamond dust and lubricated with olive oil. As primitive as it seems today when compared with computerized diamond cutting machines, the scaif revolutionized the young industry and created the world’s first diamond cutting and trading center.
80% of Diamonds pass through Antwerp
Today over 80% of the world’s diamonds still flow through Antwerp. Most of the world’s large diamonds are cut in Antwerp, although small stones are now usually cut in India.
All of this diamond cutting and trading happens in a very small area—only about one square mile! Called the Diamond Quarter, it houses 12,000 cutters, 1,500 firms and one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in the world. Yiddish is the main language.
Fox Travels to Antwerp Annually
But luckily they speak English also, and this is good for George! George Fox, our owner and Certified Gemologist, travels to Antwerp each fall to personally select diamonds for our clients. It’s a special way to purchase a diamond, and a smart one too.
Why does George travel all the way to Antwerp, Belgium to buy diamonds? Because there are piles of diamonds at better prices!
Here’s how to get your Antwerp Diamond
While stateside, we sit down with you and show you a selection of diamonds to determine exactly what’s important to you. Do you want a diamond for a ring, earrings, necklace or bracelet? White diamond or colored? We’ve bought diamonds for them all and worked with budgets small and large. Financing is available.
George goes every fall, so it’s perfect for holiday giving, springtime gifts, and even into summer! Having a diamond personally selected from thousands by a Certified Gemologist is worth shopping ahead.
Over in Antwerp, George will contact you by text or email to let you know what he’s found. You have the final say, but our clients have been very happy to get a better diamond at a better price!