Madera jeweler Chris Miller, owner of Leighton’s Jewelers, has returned from a trip to Antwerp, Belgium, arguably the Diamond Capital of the World. Traders there buy and sell nearly 85 percent of the world’s uncut diamonds, according to the New York Times.
Because of Miller’s and Leighton’s exclusive area membership in the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO), an international purchasing and educational organization for retail jewelers, he had the recent opportunity to examine large inventories of cut diamonds at four suppliers in Antwerp. By importing directly, Miller said he could spare customers of his downtown Madera store the added cost of a middleman’s fees.
“It is generally out of reach for a single jewelry store to buy direct in Antwerp,” said Miller.
Upon arriving in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, Chris and his wife Kim were driven 45 minutes to Antwerp where they dined with other diamond dealers from around the world. The food was excellent, according to the Millers. “The catch line is you have to have mussels in Brussels,” said Chris...