I am preparing for my diamond buying trip to Antwerp, Belgium. You may think that I would be tired of travelling to the same place every year but that is not true. It is true that Antwerp has been a focus of the diamond trade for several centuries. 84% of the worlds rough diamonds pass through Antwerp, making it the largest diamond district in the world ($54 billion per year). Over $16 billion in polished diamonds also pass through the diamond district. I can walk up and down the street and visit different diamond dealers to shop and select the best diamond available for my client that day, often sorting through dozens of seeming similar stones to find the ‘best’ value. Along the way, I usually find a diamond that is so special and such a good value that I cannot live without it. So, it comes back as an option for future clients. What you may not know about Antwerp: You can experience all 4 seasons in 1 day. It is a port city on the North Sea. The weather can change every 2 hours….rain, sun, rain, sun, snow…. Beer is less expensive than water. The beer is fabulous and each brand is served in its own special glass. There are fancy chocolate shops on every corner. Their chocolate tradition stresses quality over quantity. I will have at least 1 piece of fine chocolate every day! Waffles are best bought and eaten on the street. Waffles are sold like hot dogs in New York and soft pretzels in Philadelphia. It is a very walkable city. No problem getting 10,000 steps a day! Where else do you hear Yiddish spoken on the street? (as well as Flemish, French, Hebrew and Hindi) Will keep you posted on any new observations.
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