Rapaport Magazine


Antwerp June Market Report

By Marc Goldstein

DIAMDAX — the Diamond Dealers Automated Exchange — has launched in Antwerp. It is described by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) as “the world’s first online certified diamond exchange to offer continuous electronic auctions for buyers and sellers to trade individual polished diamond categories based on real-time, tradable spot prices.”

The big asset of that “Antwerp spot price” and the resulting transparency is that hopefully, it will attract new investors to the market because they will be able to closely and continuously monitor the value of their diamond portfolios using the current spot market prices. Drawing investment capital into the industry would be a welcome new source of financing after the financial turmoil and credit crunch of the past few years.


Varda Shine, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), who attended the launch, applauded it as “a good endeavor because it’s going to add further transparency to the industry and to the market. Of course, there have been and there are many electronic platforms around the world, but what’s new in the DIAMDAX platform is that it’s neither local, nor national nor limited to the customers of one given company. It’s a BtoB platform, but with the advantage of transparency and global reach.”

Shine explained further that this project and the Antwerp diamond industry’s 2020 Master Plan are among the tools that are rejuvenating the city as a diamond center. “We’ll see in six to twelve months from now how the platform is performing,” Shine said. “But it’s obvious now that, in addition to its skilled people, its financial stability and its geographic location, one of the most important assets Antwerp has to rely on is its leadership.”

Not eager to comment too early on the future of the just-opened exchange, Chaim Pluczenik of Pluczenik Diamonds said, “It’ll be at least one year before we’re able to get  a real sense of the success or failure of the project.”


The launch coincided with the first of the Antwerp Diamond Academies, a series of one-day educational workshops that are part of AWDC’s long-range Antwerp Diamond Master Plan. Pierre De Bosscher, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB), called the academies in general “a bright and wonderful idea, something that hopefully will be repeated in the future. It also brings the Antwerp diamond industry into the bigger picture of the entire Antwerp community. We were very closed off in the past and now it is time to show what Antwerp can do for Flanders and for the country.”

The keynote speaker brought in for the workshop luncheon — which was opened to local business people from other industries, along with university students — was British business tycoon Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic. (For a Rapaport Magazine interview with Branson, see page 76.)   


The first academy workshops covered such topics as “Social Media: Diamond in the Rough or Not?” “IT Solutions: Adding Value to Your Precious Time,” “The Diamond Trader on the Road: Optimize Your Time” and “Why Get Rid of Paper and How?” In the social media workshop, a representative of the Intracto Internet Group, a digital agency, explained how to maximize profit when advertising online. The speaker emphasized that the first thing to know is that the Google AdWords search engine share represents 98 percent of the Belgian market and 92 percent of the worldwide market. So a company that wants its website displayed when consumers are using online search engines is going to have to deal with Google if it wants to promote its name and products and do business on the internet. The speaker proceeded to explain how to use text-based ads and how to limit the choice of the words to gain efficiency and lower costs in a pay-per-click (PPC) environment.

Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC, was “very pleased with the workshops, because they’re dealing with such practical advice as how to make sure your ad comes out on top when potential visitors place a request in a search engine.”

With its new exchange and the academy workshops, the leadership of the Antwerp diamond community is focusing on the real challenges of tomorrow. Whether it’s going to succeed or not is another story, because nobody masters and controls the future. The AWDC has the means and the financial muscle to create its master plan, but it will be up to the diamond community members to make it happen.




  • Across the board, fancy shapes are moving much better than in the past. One reason offered is that they are priced lower than rounds.
  • Demand is very strong for square fancy shapes and they are very difficult to find. One explanation is that it’s more profitable to cut round shapes than square shapes out of the same rough.
  • Rounds in G-H, VS-SI1 are most in demand, but the overall market appears to be a little softer.
  • Piqué goods are moving very well in round and fancy shapes, especially in the U.S. market.


  • Speculation seems to have stopped and prices appear to be stabilizing. Recent activity was slow, probably because of the holiday season in India.

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - June 2012. To subscribe click here.

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