Antwerp Diamond District

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Coordinates: 51°12′52″N 4°25′06″E / 51.214509°N 4.4182508°E / 51.214509; 4.4182508 Antwerp's diamond district, also known as the Diamond Quarter (Diamantkwartier), and dubbed the Square Mile, is an area within the city of Antwerp, Belgium. It consists of several square blocks covering an area of about one square mile. While as of 2012, much of the gem cutting and polishing work historically done in the neighborhood had moved to low wage centers elsewhere, about 84% of the world's rough diamonds passed through the district, making it the largest diamond district in the world with a turnover of 54 billion dollars. Over $16 billion in polished diamonds pass through the district's exchanges each year. There are 380 workshops that serve 1,500 companies. There are also 3,500 brokers, merchants and diamond cutters. Within the area is the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, and four trading exchanges including the Diamond Club of Antwerp and the Beurs voor Diamanthandel, both of which were founded by Hasidic diamantaires, the Antwerpsche Diamantkring and the Vrije Diamanthandel. The neighborhood is dominated by Jewish, Jain Indians, Maronite Christian Lebanese and Armenian dealers, known as diamantaires. More than 80% of Antwerp's Jewish population works in the diamond trade; Yiddish was, historically, a main language of the diamond exchange. No business is conducted on Saturdays.
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