Today I thought it might be fun to re-post this one from last year on what it's really like to buy diamonds direct from wholesalers in Belgium. It's my way of announcing that it's that time of year again! Now or never, ladies. The trip is in October so let me know as soon as possible if I can quote you on those new diamonds!
Have you ever wondered what it is really like to buy "diamonds direct?" I don't know how it is for the big guys, but for me it looks a lot like this: First I travel to this gorgeous town called Antwerp, in Belgium. Antwerp is richly steeped in history and is also a very cool contemporary city.
After a day or so to recover from jetlag, I head to the Diamond District. Usually the weather is cloudy or rainy when I arrive each fall.
While working I will visit around half a dozen diamond wholesalers. Each of them has tight security and I often must relenquish my passport at the front desk, then be buzzed into the offices of each wholesaler directly.
Some of the offices work with both rough and polished diamonds.
Antwerp is the diamond-cutting capital of the world, so a lot of rough passes through here! It's gorgeous, too:
|Rough often looks yellow or even brown, but the color can be quite high once the stone is cut.|
|A parcel of 9,715.70 carats of rough diamonds. This plastic bag was larger than a gallon-sized bag.|
I spend most of my time the first day looking closely at any diamonds that might meet my clients' needs. After comparing availability and prices of the diamonds I like at each wholesaler, and matching stones if necessary, I will return to each potential wholesaler several times to look again at any new stones that have come in, and to revisit the diamonds I've previously chosen. After six or seven hours looking through my loupe, my eyes stop working, and it's time to take a break!
|Diamonds are frequently brought in to the viewing office in jumbled baskets or boxes--but make no mistake; the inventory is tightly controlled!|
|My mother-in-law sorting diamonds.|
The result: beautiful diamond jewelry for a fraction of retail prices!
Now you know the process of buying diamonds direct from the source! I hope it was fun for you to see what I do!