Skip to main content

The Brilliant, designed in Antwerp

Did you know that the shape of the brilliant was discovered in the Antwerp diamond district? The most commonly used diamond cutting shape, with 57 facets, was invented a hundred years ago by a Jewish sharpener in Antwerp. He was a Belgian member of a Jewish family of diamond cutters from Poland.

Picture by Pixabay

The Antwerp engineer Marcel Tolkowsky scientifically established in 1919 how the perfect brilliant is cut. Thanks to 57 facets that are placed with respect to each other with mathematical precision, a maximum glare is achieved.

First Tolkowsky, as part of his Ph.D. topic at the University of London, systematically studied the grinding of diamonds. Marcel Tolkowsky found that if a diamond was cut too deep or shallow then the light would escape out the sides or bottom of the diamond resulting in a loss of brilliance.

Picture by Pixabay

Around the same time, in his book Diamond Design, he published the specifications of what would later be called the American Standard. Marcel Tolkowsky died on February 10, 1991. He is generally acknowledged as the father of the modern round brilliant diamond cut. Many of his family members became noted diamond cutters.

Picture by Pixabay

You can find the Antwerp Diamond center next to the central station. Antwerp also has a Diamantmuseum DIVA, you can find that at this address: Suikerrui 17-19, Antwerp.

Popular posts from this blog

Belgian kids got to drink beer during their school lunch

There are almost 800 different kinds of beer in Belgium. One kind was very popular till the70's, it was even given to kids at school during their lunch break. Beer to kids? You must be kidding! Well, let's go a bit further into this. The beers we are talking about were so-called table beers, a kind of beer that was specially made for people who can't drink alcohol. So it's was a kind of alcohol-free beer, a kind, because there was some alcohol in it. between 1 and 4 percent alcohol. The most popular table beer was Piedboeuf, it had 1.1 percent alcohol in it and there was a lot of sugar added to make it as sweet as Coca-Cola. A good marketing strategy made that it was well distributed in almost all schools in Belgium. The reason was that it would be very healthy for them, because of the natural ingredients and of course the sugar. It would make them grow fast and strong. It would even be good for pregnant women and for women that were breastfeeding their baby'

How the Belgians founded New York

In order to avoid any confusion in this story, it is important to know that in the sixteenth century, the Netherlands covered a part of northern France and Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the present Netherlands. Its inhabitants were called the Belgians, and the maps represented the country in the shape of a lion: the "Leo Belgicus". Besides, numerous maps from the sixteenth century showed this territory under the name of Belgium. The latter failed into disuse for the benefit of the Netherlands and only reappeared in 1789 on the occasion of the first Belgian revolution. In 1831 Belgium became an independent country. Today Belgium is a lot smaller and is divided into two big regions mostly based on the language they speak in that particular region. In the north, there is Flanders where they speak Flemish (Dutch) and in the south, there is the Walloon part where they speak French. Almost in the center and between the two parts is the region of the capital Brussels.

A secret medieval street in Antwerp

The Vlaeykensgang is a unique small street in the center of Antwerp. Hidden between two busy Antwerp streets and close to the Cathedral. This medieval times street can easily be walked past unnoticed. Behind its meter-wide entrance, there is an oasis. A step into the passage with its quiet courtyards transports visitors back in time, back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Picture by Harry Fabel Previously, the street was the domain of shoemakers, who had to sound the alarm bell of the Cathedral, also some of the poorest people of the city lived in that very small street. Now you will find antique shops, art galleries, and an exclusive restaurant, Sir Anthony Van Dyck. There is a subdued atmosphere and the street is a popular place to listen to the cathedral's summer carillon concerts. At its heart, you find the Axel Vervoordt Gallery. Picture by Harry Fabel The "Vlaeykensgang" exists as a key piece of Antwerp’s architectural and sociological history, offering a