Antwerp Sparkles for World’s Diamond Elite

(Report from The Birmingham Assay Office & Anchorcert Gemmological Services)

The Antwerp Diamond Bourse and Diamond Club welcomed visitors and Diamond Buyers from across Europe and the Middle East to its famous and historic trading Halls as over 70 local companies exhibited the most breath-taking collection of diamonds, gemstones and diamond jewellery.
Many of the world’s leading diamond dealers and manufacturers from Israel, India and Antwerp assembled for the third edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, which took place from 29-31 January. This is seen as a key event for measuring the market outlook against today’s tough economic backdrop. The show also highlighted the Belgian city as a vital point for the cutting, and polishing of diamonds.

Some eight in every 10 rough diamonds, and five in every 10 polished diamonds, pass through Antwerp, which has built its reputation as a leading diamond centre over the centuries. “We hope that this fair will strengthen Antwerp as an important centre for diamonds for years to come,” commented Raphael Rubin, a senior official of the organiser, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

Suzanne Eid, Managing Editor of Beirut based luxury publication Collection, co-ordinated the delegation of Saudi and Lebanese buyers. She commented that whilst Antwerp was a regular destination for many of the buyers, the Antwerp Diamond trade fair provided an excellent opportunity for them to increase their supplier sourcing. “Gauging the delegation’s reactions, I think the fair’s format is a great fit for jewellers who seek access to Antwerp’s diamond market.”

Dealers attending the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair voiced concerns that polished diamond prices may struggle to hold onto gains in the first quarter of 2012 due to worries over the global economy. European demand for polished diamonds has been slow as consumers remain uneasy because of the euro zone debt crisis. For the U.S. market, however, there were signs of improving demand after a good Christmas jewellery retail season. Certified polished diamond prices rose in 2011, spurred by strong buying in the first half of the year, but global economic uncertainties caused prices to soften in the latter half. For 2011 as a whole, the Rapaport Group’s RapNet Diamond Index of prices for one-carat polished diamonds, a benchmark closely tracked by the industry, rose 19 percent.

As part of the trade Fair, the gala dinner, sponsored by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre also welcomed buyers from India, Thailand, the Ukraine, the Middle East and Turkey. It was announced that buyers from North America, China and Southeast Asia would be invited to take part in the 2013 fair.

For more information go to the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair website www.antwerpdiamondfair.com. It may be worth requesting an invitation to the Trade Fair in 2013 as admission is by invitation only.

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