The Antwerp diamond industry this year is celebrating its 570th anniversary. A document recently discovered in the City Archive identifies the first signs of a diamond trade in the city dating back to 1447. The City of Antwerp and the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) today introduced this Diamond Year with the public launch of “In Antwerp We Speak Diamond - Diamond Capital since 1447”, the theme underlying five months of events focused on the brilliant stone, running from October 2017 through February 2018. The objective is to highlight the way the centuries-old diamond trade plays an important role in the City of Antwerp on an economic, cultural as well as historical level – and to engage its residents and visitors in its diamond story.
The “We Speak Diamond” campaign refers to how, in Antwerp, more than 70 different nationalities and communities shape the industry’s identity and how this great diversity of individuals speak the same language: diamond. The ‘Diamond Year’ will feature festivities, museum exhibitions and street art projects, but also a food festival, a photo competition, a diamond expedition for millennials, a summer academy on the diamond trade in collaboration with Antwerp University, an elementary school project and the “African Diamond Dialogue”, where several African mining ministers will travel to Antwerp to discuss the future of the trade in these diamond producing countries.