antwerp diamonds


Antwerp’s diamond district is a treasure trove of diamond factoids, diamond history and, of course, diamonds. It is the city which handles nearly 80 percent of the world’s rough diamonds and over 50 percent of the world’s precious stone-quality diamonds. The diamond district in Antwerp is a small area (only a square kilometer) and also holds the Diamond Museum, a world-renowned museum which provides an in-depth look into the diamond industry and its worldwide impact. Here are some interesting factoids about the ever-changing world of diamonds that you probably didn’t know.

  1. Pink diamonds originate from Australia. Research shows that nearly all natural pink diamonds are found in Australia’s Argyle Mine.
  2. Until 1990, De Beers owned 90 percent of the diamond market. And what’s even more ridiculous is that almost all diamond purchases before 1990 put some money into De Beer’s deep pockets.
  3. Many dentist drills are embedded with diamonds. That’s because diamond is virtually unbreakable!
  4. Almost 80 percent of diamonds mined are ground into diamond powder. What’s all that diamond dust for? Most of it is melted into the metals of drills, knives, saws and other metal tools.
  5. The word “diamond” has its etymological roots in the word “indestructible”. Not a bad word linkage for what is known to be the hardest substance on the planet. “Diamond” is a mutation of the Greek word “adamas”, meaning “indestructible”.
  6. Diamonds cut before 1950 have a different shape from most diamonds cut after 1950. Gemologists established the “Antwerp” cut in 1950, in which they found a shallower geometry to cut, which distributed more light and sparkle.
  7. The term “carats” is actually a reference to the diamonds equivalent weight in carob seeds. “Carat” is a derivative of the Greek word for “carob seed”.

Karp Imex, an Indian diamond manufacturer with offices in Antwerp, got the surprise of his life last week when he was held hostage in one of the biggest robberies in Belgium. Pankaj Maldar, who works at the Antwerp Karp Imex office, was held hostage with his family in the robbery at gunpoint.


Vasant Mehta, the Chairman of India’s Gem & Jewelry Export Promotion Center commented, “Antwerp used to be a safe place to do business but this should serve as a wake-up call for the city.” Mehta also indicated that the robbery wasn’t directly aimed at the Indian company and that it could have happened to anyone. Indian diamond traders are increasingly uneasy after several diamond robberies in recent years.

The gang apparently knew the Karp Imex catalog very well and made demands that Paljar go get certain diamonds while his family was held hostage. They were held hostage for 18 hours while the thieves ended up getting away with $10 million in diamonds. Antwerp Police are now investigating the incident.