Antwerp diamond cutters
Antwerp is also home to the most renowned diamond cutters in the world. Despite competition from countries with low-cost labour, Antwerp maintains a reputation for quality. Most large stones are cut there: from one carat to… Many Antwerp firms have invested in diamond cutting in Vietnam, India, Thailand and so on. They have had to face problems relating to language, mentality, infrastructure (electricity is often lacking), supplies of all kinds, staff (managers from abroad are often demanding) etc. They must also deal with the ignorance of local authorities including customs and different ministries. To this must also be added shipping and insurance charges. These countries have the disadvantage of “only” being producers of cut diamonds, but not consumers.
Robots will maybe, and even probably, replace the 20th-century family cutting industry, in favour of sophisticated “laboratories”. However, this will benefit the consumer: cutting will be cheaper and polishing will continue to improve. Rough stones will be analysed by computer, then cut using lasers. The yield of rough diamonds will then be paramount on a scientific basis, taking into account all of the characteristics of the diamond : colour, weight, cut, clarity.