Antwerp diamond center is contained in two square miles. It contains 1500 diamond companies. Specialized banks, transport companies and brokers are always under high security alert. Photography is limited in the district but there is constant video surveillance.
Antwerp provides a major diamond trade though out the world. In fact, more than 50% of the world’s “consumption of rough, polished and industrial diamonds at some point passes through Antwerp”. It is also known for its trade in gemstones such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Antwerp is known to have the highest concentration of wealth in the world.
Antwerp is believed to have the best diamond polishers in the world and 8 out of 10 rough diamonds come from here. Out of every two diamonds, one passes through Antwerp.
In 2002, the Belgium diamond trade amounted to $26.4 million dollars and is 7% of their foreign export business. The United States, Israel, India, Switzerland, Hong Kong and China are their most important trading partners. Their share of the global diamond trade is 60%. That includes diamond rough supply at 80%, polished diamond supply at 50% and the natural industrial diamond supply.
Antwerp hosts four banks, 1500 diamond companies, 300 workshops or factories and their total personnel employment in the diamond industry amounts to 27,000 people.