If someone told you that the creation of the first Stocks and Commodities Exchange of the world passed through the companies of the legendary Marco Polo in the thirteenth and fourteenth century, what will you think?
The first Bourse (Exchange) of the world was founded in Antwerp in Belgium in 1460 when merchants began to transit goods from Venice after Marco Polo discovered the incredible treasure of culture and goods of the Middle and Extreme East.
Someone argues that the word Bourse comes from the name of the family of Venetian merchants Della Borsa and that it would be transformed into the Flemish Van der Bourse because the family name indicated too clearly Italian origins.
The first city where, at least since 1314 that developed the art of precious stones cutting, was documented to be Bruges upon the arrival of the first ship from Venice and where, for the first time, a diamond was polished using another diamond, removing the supremacy of India in diamond cutting.
The art of precious stones cutting in Flanders found its final consecration in Antwerp thanks to the favorable position of its port since at least 1447, when a prefect of the city issued an edict against the use of false stones. The city in 1582 saw the rise of the first documented association of cutters. The golden age of Antwerp was interrupted in 1585 when Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, conquered the city and forced the stone cutters – nearly all Protestant – to move to nearby Amsterdam. An edict and a new bridge hindered Antwerp until 1863, promoting the development of stone cutting of diamonds in Amsterdam, giving rise to the folk distinction between the so-called “Antwerp cut” and “Amsterdam cut”. A distinction that has no more meaning.
The diamond rush in South Africa in the nineteenth century finally lifted Antwerp as a high quality cutting center recovering techniques and traditions remained buried for hundreds of years and in 1893 the new association of traders and cutters “Diamant Club van Antwerpen” bought as the place for their trade an entire building in the street in front the Antwerp train station by placing the first stone for the foundation of the most important district in the world for diamond trade.
In 1904 a group of cutters created the second Diamond Exchange “Beurs voor Diamanthandel“, to which was added in 1929 the third Diamond Exchange “Vrije Diamanthandel” which incorporated within it that rough diamond “Antwerpsche Diamantkring”.
Today, with the exception of “Antwerpsche Diamantkring“, all diamond exchange halls have been replaced by performing online platforms.
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