Antwerp is the diamond capital of Europe. Every year thousands of couples visit Antwerp to purchase their engagement ring.
Ryanair fly from Dublin to Brussels. Depending on when you go, you could get flights for as low as €30 each return! You’d spend that on a taxi in to Dublin City Centre! Check flights here!
BEFORE YOU BOOK ANYTHING!!! The jewellers are not open at weekends so it’s best to go mid week.
Once you’re in Brussels you simply get the train to Antwerp Centraal (not the other Antwerp stop) The train is apx €30/40 return.
If your sole purpose is to shop for a diamond then you could stay in the diamond area (known as Diamant). You would assume that a diamond district would be very upmarket but the area is known to be a little run down. My friend stayed in the Leonardo hotel, it is right in the heart of Diamant. It’s no Ritz, very basic and there are nicer hotels including a Radisson in the area. The main shopping district is only 1km away. Hotels are listed on Booking.com right here.
It is important to do your research before you go. There are 4 jewellers within the ADJA (Antwerp diamond jewellers association). The reason it was created was due to a number of poor or rogue jewellers selling bad diamonds to unsuspecting couples. My advice would be to stick to the 4 jewellers for peace of mind.
The 4 Jewellers include:
Joe Katz / Diamant Club (located in a very secure office block! Can be hard to spot)
My friend high recommended Philippe Harold and Joe Katz. All four shops are close to each other.
You can email them for quotes before you go there but just to note, the diamond supplies change frequently so between you emailing and arriving, there could be different stones and therefore your quote might be out of date. If you have a particular criteria of stone, fear not, the diamond exchange is very close by so the jeweller can call and see if its in stock. Most will only take card payments so if you were planning on paying by cash, check with them in advance.
I’ve been told that all jewellers recommend white gold, platinum is quite rare there so if this is something you are looking for, you should email a few days ahead of your trip so that they can get some settings in for you. If you want something that they don’t have in stock, it could be a 2 week wait for it to come in.
In terms of value, I’ve read on forums that you can save up to 30% but from other feedback I’ve heard its more about the quality and custom made aspect of the ring that may not be available at home. Although, there are suppliers like Voltaire Diamonds here in Ireland that can custom make too.
Happy ring shopping!
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