Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair

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  1. I thought that I would share with the forum the wonderful and very interesting, educative experiences I had the fortunte to have by visiting the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair. My husband and I were joking about how nice it would be to go and I said we will next year and we laughed and then a few days later we got invited to the Fair, so the rush and preparation began, we had to qualify and organize our trip. We both felt it would be a once in a lifetime experience, of course we will go in coming years too but it is surely an honor to get an invitation.

    So the first day began by getting there late and starting with the gala dinner, we had a great time and met very interesting people. The second day we started visiting the cutters and made some visits to offices at the bourse. A very mixed experience, one really has to know who to deal with and what to look for as far as human values and stones. That day I have some the worst cut stones in my life, I felt that we were shown rejects. Many people try to get clients and are very pushy for that but at the same time I met the most wonderful cutters both as human beings and with amazing quality stones. It was a great learning experience.

    One of the highlights for us was to visit HRD and IGI and get an insight into how these labs work and form opinions on them. In general GIA is still regarded perhaps the highest, followed by HRD and then IGI but do not get a stone with a certificate from another lab. IGI was very simple but they employ a cutter for recutting and repairs in which they are unique in Europe. HRD was amazing. I have to change my previous opinion on them because in the past I felt that their clarity charts were not accurate; apparently they only highlight the most important flaws and that is why some of their certificates did not seem accurate to me. However, security is amazing, their research lab is something else and they now developed a hearts and arrows computer program which is much more accurate than the previous handheld tool, we also got to see how this program works which is only uses at the lab at the moment and is extremely precise; on your certificates now you can get a hearts and arrows pass as well but only a slight deviation will make the stone fail the test. Really cool. No photos allowed at HRD.

    Back to the stones again I learnt new things, the cutting company I loved was great, the people were great but their stones impressed me just as much. Until now I thought like many in my region that I do not understand why ideal cut is a hype these days, ok they have strong fire which some may not like but their stones were so beautiful they almost spoke, now I want nothing less in my rounds. I saw a 30 pointer top color, nice clarity ideal cut and I could feel passion for the stone.

    I also learnt that I do not need to be as strict about clarity as I thought; there is a difference between individual stones, ok I knew that but to see the difference makes all the difference. An SI1 I would not have considered can have two major inclusions on the side facets which can easily be hidden by prongs but even more surprisingly I really fell in love with a 1 ct I1 pear, it was F, it was wide cut and the stone was amazing despite being an I1, no carbon only a cloud but nothing terrible, I would be proud to own such a stone. Not to mention the fancy colors; I loved the yellows and the 5 ct black matching pairs, what earrings they would make!

    In no way am I trying to endorse the ADTF or any cutting company, I intentionally did not mention names and I just hope that my experience might be interesting and educative to some on the forum who share my passion for diamonds. I would be happy to share private photos of the event if allowed where no specific companies are present. I am not trying to advertise myself either only to give a bit of an insight to others who could be interested.

    Antwerp is really unique, it is like going back a century in some way, the atmosphere and the people, it is a very happy small city, wonderful and old fashioned yet with the highest technology and amazing wealth but mixed with modesty.
  2. Man I'd freaking explode at such an event. Was AGS not represented?

    I am super curious who the diamond company you liked was regarding ideals. You can PM me, but I have a suspicion who it is.
  3. Yes it was something else, I had breakfast with one of Tiffany's designers who is now working with a goldsmith and they make really unique jewelry, also got to sit and talk with the Secretary General of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and attended seminars, this event is really great and invitation includes the wonderful gala dinner, buffet lunches, breakfast seminars, etc.
  4. Wow! ENVY!
  5. Thanks so much Ame! Believe me I am more than thrilled myself to have been able to attend this fair, it was truly amazing. Here are a few photos of the event but you can find a lot more photos with jewelry and stones on the web.

    Attached Files:

  6. Hmm, dunno why but the photos went up funky.:smile:))
  7. Oh wow, GREAT photos!!! Thank you for posting these!!! Beautiful!
  8. Wow- you are a lucky girl!!
    Please keep the pictures coming and I can live out the dream in your pics!
  9. Thank you girls! It really was amazing and very educative as well, I am ready to go back like about right now.:smile:)) and of course thinking of what to get from the great people I met there, I love the idea of making earrings out of the 5 ct black pairs but I also love the pears for necklaces, funny as I have never been into pears but loved these, dreaming of that 1 ct white but the 57 pointer yellow would be wonderful too.:smile:))
  10. Thank you do much for sharing your experience OVimcze! It's so refreshing to hear quite unique stories like yours that really give a great insight into the industry, which only occassionally get touched on. It all comes down to the beauty of the stone and how it speaks to you.
  11. Thank you too! I thought it might be nice to hear for others and I think that if someone really feels that this is their passion then they find it important to share experiences and knowledge. I have seen bad stones and great stones and there were many wonderful people with a common passion. I find it very rare that a stone is so beautiful it speaks to you and when a 30 pointer even does that I know I am in the right place and they were so top they gave me such inspiration. It was also wonderful to meet some people who lead the industry and form hopefully the beginning of friendships and see how some people are very modest, among others the cutters I liked the most as people too and the lady who designed Tiffany's Atlas collection, she is a great person and it was really fun to see her work and what she does right now.