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seeking shimmer

Seeking Shimmer, the Antwerp Diamond District

No more than nine streets stretching around the Central Station form the heart of the Antwerp diamond industry. The ‘largest’ diamond district in the world, also called the ‘square mile’, is mainly populated by Jewish and Indian diamond merchants. Together they form a community, closed to the outside world with its own systems and laws. The rather dingy-looking district is an area for insiders and contrasts sharply with the iconic product they trade in: the diamond.

Walking through the Antwerp diamond district, I was struck by the logos of the various diamond merchants and jewellers. I decided to photograph them all. The result is a surprising collection: 123 diamonds in only nine streets and no two are the same, although the ideal brilliant diamond cut was already established by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919 in his book ‘Diamond Design’. Via the (re)presentation of the collection, the spectator wanders with me through the Antwerp diamond district. He follows a route that shows the façade of its interior world and the quest for individuality within the normally strict proportions of the diamond.