After a good night’s sleep, we woke up feeling more refreshed and ready for our second day exploring the Diamond District of Antwerp!
First up, we had private consultation with one of the most prestigious diamond cutting houses in the world. Specialising in precision custom cutting, we got to talk to the director of the business about their cutting-edge technology which they use to achieve specialty cuts for some of the highest and most well-known fashion and jewellery brands in the world. It truly blew our minds to learn that each diamond they facet is cut to a plan, with extremely specific measurements that are entered into a computer program. The program speaks to a laser cutting device in which the diamond rough is placed, and the diamond is cut by lasers over several hours…even days…with no human intervention required. Isn’t that crazy?
This was very exciting for us, as we can now commission them to cut custom stones for us too. This sounded like a great option for the matching pair of trapezoids that Erin was searching for. Super exciting!
Not only does this multi-generational business cut diamonds to the highest standard, they also cut coloured stones. From Colombian emeralds to Burmese rubies and Ceylon sapphires…we were drooling! Erin decided to take home an unusal coffin-cut yellow sapphire, and Gary selected a small cluster of pink diamonds. Both are available in store to be made into a custom-designed piece.
Many of the stones that go through their production are specialty cut which means they are quite unique and unusual, so we couldn't help but to bring back a unique shaped diamond too!
Our next experience was with one of the largest offices in the Diamond District. This supplier distributes their ready made pieces to one of our Australian diamond jewellery suppliers, so it was fascinating to see this part of the supply chain. Here we also got to view loose stones, and Erin was on a mission to find our client’s emerald-cut diamond, while Gary was still on the hunt for a princess cut and a round brilliant cut.
With our minds well and truly blown it was time for a rest and what a better way to chill out in Belgium than having a beer at a Belgian beer house and doing some boutique chocolate shopping! Needless to say, our team were very pleased with the goodies we brought home for them!
That evening we had a drink in what's known as a traditional Belgian 'brown bar' and a delicious dinner in the Old Town at an underground restaurant that was once a medieval cellar...delicious AND fascinating!