The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) together with the Diamond Industry Fund (Fonds voor de Diamantnijverheid) gifted three high-tech diamond processing machines worth over $40,000 to the Municipal Lyceum in Antwerp. The Lyceum is the only school in Europe that offers a training program in diamond polishing techniques. Specifically, the donation includes a machine that provides feedback on on the surface quality and geometry of a diamond, one that assists the polisher with alignment and a third that semi-automatically polishes diamonds into round and fancy shapes. The machines may also be used for providing advanced training to professionals already working in the industry.
AWDC CEO Ari Epstein emphasized Antwerp's leading role in the diamond world and the employment opportunities associated with it. "While we cannot possibly compete with diamond polishing centers like India, where the wages are ten times lower, Antwerp makes up the difference when it comes to expertise, knowledge and skill. Traders that have an exceptional stone are confident that Antwerp is the only place to have it polished." The school, which offers training in the most current and high-end techniques, will graduate ten students this year and notes growing interest in the program.