This city is called diamond city as world’s one of the finest diamonds are produced and more than 70% of all diamonds in the world are traded in Antwerp. Not going into statistics but do you know who does the major chunk of business here ? Well, one can find many Indians settled in Antwerp mostly from Gujarati / Marwari business community. Sorry, I don’t know the difference between them except that Gujratis are from Gujrat and Marwaris are from Marwar. 🙂
Someone please enlighten me on this. Needless to say why I was surprised initially when I saw many Indian restaurants there.
In spite of this museum being adjacent to the station, we could manage only about an hour’s quality time inside it. Again this multi-storied museum is the largest diamond museum in the world. According to me, minimum of one full day is required to do justice with it.
It is also called ‘interactive museum’ as there is an audio-visual guide which enables us to ‘interact’ with the museum in the select few languages of our choice and at our own pace. It is an ‘image and sound’ system which takes visitors through the entire procedure of diamond processing – from mines to end product including training, teaching etc. at various levels.
On each floor there are some treasure chambers whose wonderful collections of jewelry offer a treat to eyes. They have diamond jewelries from the sixteenth century till the present day including replica of the British Crown Jewels containing two of the world’s largest diamonds- the Koh-I-Noor and the Cullinan I. The only other place I saw more realistic replica of British crown was in Sydney.
The museum also has section which shows us the qualities of diamonds, such as color, hardness, refraction of light etc. On some days we can see diamond cutters at work too.
The four C’s – Carat, Colour, Clarity and Cut – determine the quality and value of a polished diamond. Since this is not a place to lecture about diamonds, will tell you very little basics about these four C’s.
Carats – Weight is expressed in carats, each carat divided into 100 points.
Colour – Colourless diamonds are the most valuable ones. The more tinted colour they have, the less expensive they are.
Clarity – Clarity or purity of a diamond is determined by the number, size and location of inclusions or clouds (internal impurities). These can vary from vvs (very very small) to s(small) category.
Cut – Even if a diamond has perfect colour and clarity, a poorly cut diamond will lose sparkle, beauty and value. The cut affects brightness and classified as Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor. Some common diamond cuts are round, oval, pear, heart, emerald.
Fortunately we could take some photographs without flash in some sections of this tight security museum.