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TRADE NEWS


Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair: a sparkling success

Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair: a sparkling success

28 May 2013

By Cynthia Unninayar

Now in its fourth year, the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair has become firmly positioned on the annual calendar of the world’s most important global trade shows.

Antwerp has a 550-year-old diamond heritage and continues today as one of the world's leading centres for diamond trading
Antwerp has a 550-year-old diamond heritage and continues today as one of the world’s leading centres for diamond trading

For more than 400 years, diamantaires in Antwerp conducted their business in private. That all changed in 2010 when they opened the doors of the historical trading halls of the 105-year-old Antwerp Diamond Bourse and the even older Antwerp Diamond Club to buyers at the first Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (ADTF), who were able to come and see some of the largest selections of polished diamonds in the world. And, every year since 2010, the ADTF has grown in stature as well as in the number of exhibitors and buyers.

The fourth ADTF attracted more than 500 buyers, who came to see the diamonds presented by 83 Antwerp-based exhibitors
The fourth ADTF attracted more than 500 buyers, who came to see the diamonds presented by 83 Antwerp-based exhibitors

Now in its fourth edition, the ADTF is still organized on a by-invitation-only basis. The show is sponsored by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and has become so well recognized that fair officials lamented the fact that, for this edition, they received far more requests than they could accommodate. This year, some 500 buyers, including jewellery retailers, travelled from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Russia to see the products of the fair’s 83 Antwerp-based exhibitors.

In addition to the show itself, the fair organized a variety of networking events, including a gala dinner, a visit to a cutting factory, and several breakfast seminars.

Diamonds from 1 point to many carats, in all colours, shapes and sizes, were available at the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair.
Diamonds from 1 point to many carats, in all colours, shapes and sizes, were available at the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair.

Antwerp’s Diamond Heritage

From a historical point of view, Antwerp is at the origin of the global diamond trade as it is known today. The slogan “Cut in Antwerp” embodies more than 550 years of diamond heritage, which, for centuries, has been—and still is—a trademark for high quality and craftsmanship.

Today, more than 50 percent of the world’s polished diamonds and 80 percent of rough diamonds are traded in the historic city, thus providing customers a wide selection of goods.

More than 50 percent of the world's polished diamonds and 80 percent of rough are traded in Antwerp.
More than 50 percent of the world’s polished diamonds and 80 percent of rough are traded in Antwerp.

Walking the Show

Strolling the corridors in the two historic diamond halls provided the opportunity to see a variety of amazing stones, ranging in size from a few points to many carats, from whites to intense fancies, and from traditional cuts to unusual shapes such as fish, horses, and other forms.

Willy Roth presented a variety of unusual diamond cuts, including this fish weighing over two carats.
Willy Roth presented a variety of unusual diamond cuts, including this fish weighing over two carats.

In terms of custom shapes, Willy Roth, president of Diamantclub van Antwerpen, presented diamonds in the form of horses, fish, and other creative cuts, as well as more traditional diamonds in a wide variety of sizes. Roth also indicated that the fair was good, and that he was happy with the results and the visitor traffic.

This intense green diamond, of over two carats, was displayed by Diarough.
This intense green diamond, of over two carats, was displayed by Diarough.

In the fancy category, Diarough displayed a remarkable intense green of over two carats, which “attracted a lot of attention,” confided Marianne Georges, who added that the fair was quite successful for the brand.

One of the more interesting booths at the ADTF was that of Beauty Gems, which attracted attention with its display of the company name and logo, completely made of diamonds (what else!). Designed by Liesbeth Cleen, the small stones of the logo together weighed 52.42 carats, while the larger diamonds of the company name weighed 33.41 carats. Cleen added that she was happy with the response to the display as well as with business conducted at the show.

Beauty Gems showcased their company l
Beauty Gems showcased their company l

Also expressing satisfaction with the fair was Mayank Mehta, of Blooming Star, which deals in white stones of 50 points to 3 carats, polished in Surat. Another dealer carrying stones of similar sizes was DTC sightholder, A.C. Diam, a third-time exhibitor. Dhaval Jain explained that most of their cuts are “nice fashion cushions and hearts,” mostly in sizes above 2 carats. “Diamonds have a good future,” Jain added, “and this well-organized fair is a good opportunity to promote diamonds.”

Rosy Blue, selling 1 point to 10 carats, was also a third-year participant. Raj Mehta, senior vice president, said they enjoyed a good response. “The ADTF has been improving every year, and offers a great opportunity for Antwerp diamond companies to show what they make. It is really international since we saw delegations from Russia, China, and the Middle East, among others.” When asked if synthetic diamonds were a threat to the industry, Mehta explained, “We are not worried about synthetics. They will find their own niche. The main concern is disclosure. For most people, natural diamonds are what really count and what they want.”

Producing jewellery has been come an extension for some diamond companies, both large and small. Shown here is a necklace created by Antwerp exhibitor J. Pinchasi
Producing jewellery has been come an extension for some diamond companies, both large and small. Shown here is a necklace created by Antwerp exhibitor J. Pinchasi

Another third-year exhibitor, Dalumi featured stones from 10 points to 20 carats. Expressing the brand’s success at the fair, Amir Assael commented, “The ADTF is the best opportunity for us when compared to other fairs, which are a mix of jewellery and fashion. Buyers come here knowing what they want. It is also convenient because buyers can go from the fair to our office which is just near the fair.” As to the future of the industry, Assael felt that it follows the general mood of the world, but he stressed that “as long as we have luxury—which will continue— then there will be a demand for diamonds.”

Assael went on to talk about Dalumi’s expansion into jewellery and the brand’s new and successful “Swana” project. He indicated that, through this project, money is given to help a small village in Botswana. “At Dalumi, corporate social responsibility is an important part of our policies and we take it very seriously,” he insisted.

One of the larger diamonds seen in Antwerp, as it might look in a ring on the hand.
One of the larger diamonds seen in Antwerp, as it might look in a ring on the hand.

Coming to the fair since the beginning, 80-year-old Nasielski & Son, a family business now run by the sixth generation, sells a wide variety of diamonds, from small to large stones, mostly round, but they also produce some square and princess cuts. “I think that the ADTF is an excellent idea and also very necessary for us,” said Michel Nasielski. “Despite the challenges facing the industry, diamond demand continues to be worldwide, so the future of the industry is assured.”

“There are many challenges facing the industry,” commented Serge Zaidman, of S. Muller & Sons. “In 40 years, I have never seen the industry like this. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I do know that there will always be a demand for diamonds, so we need to remain optimistic.” The company only sells sizes of 1 carat and above. “We cannot afford to do less,” mused Zaidman.

Sarah Dhersin, from fourth-time exhibitor, Windiam, said, “It is no secret that the diamond sector is passing a difficult year, challenged by the economic and other global news. People are now reluctant to spend, although some are starting to invest in diamonds.” She added that more and more loose diamond dealers are starting jewellery lines to expand their operations.” Dhersin indicated, however, that “the show was positive for Windiam.”

Present also for the fourth time was Diamex, selling white stones from 20 points to 10 carats. Serge Beller stated that he was “very happy with the show” and noted that most buyers were from Russia, China, the Middle East, and the USA.

Anecdotally, a number of retailers and other buyers from the USA and Europe indicated that the fair offered them new contacts and sources, and importantly, competitive prices. They also appreciated the historic city of Antwerp and being able to discover the charms of its cultural and architectural heritage.

Peter De Deyne, Factory Manager, AMC Manufacturing Antwerp, conducted an informative tour of the cutting facility for visitors to the ADTF.
Peter De Deyne, Factory Manager, AMC Manufacturing Antwerp, conducted an informative tour of the cutting facility for visitors to the ADTF.

In addition to searching for diamonds, visitors were offered the opportunity to visit a diamond-cutting factory near the ADTF. Here, we were shown a variety of techniques, using sophisticated instrumentation, to determine the best cut for a stone. Peter De Deyne, Factory Manager for AMC Manufacturing Antwerp, kindly showed visitors not only the equipment used to analyze the diamonds, but also talked about the men and women who must ultimately use their experience and expertise in making the final decisions on how the diamond will eventually be facetted.

The 2014 edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair will also be held at the end of January. For more details and exact dates, to be announced, visit their website at www.antwerpdiamondfair.com.

BrilliAnt®, the 8th edition of the ADTF, goes international - 19 July 2016
Colour your world with diamonds - 19 January 2015
Sixth edition of Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair to be held February 1-3, 2015 - 14 July 2014
Fifth Antwerp Diamond Fair: Another Glittering Success - 31 March 2014
Visitors and exhibitors hail success of 5th edition of ADTF - 31 January 2014
Fifth edition of Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair opens on January 26 - 23 January 2014
For three days in January, ADTF takes over the diamond district - 14 October 2013
Strong start to Fourth Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair - 28 January 2013
The 4th Antwerp Diamond Trade fair - January 27-29, 2013 - 10 December 2012
Fourth Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair goes truly global - 9 November 2012
Fourth ADTF to take place January 27-29, 2013 - 27 August 2012
3rd Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair final report - 16 February 2012
The third edition of the Antwerp Diamond Fair - January 29-31, 2012 - 3 November 2011
Third Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair Jan. 29-31, 2012 - 18 July 2011
Second Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair releases big hit with buyers and exhibitors - 2 February 2011
2011 edition of Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair to open doors on January 30 - 13 January 2011
The 2nd Antwerp Diamond Trade fair - 2 November 2010



 

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