Antwerp celebrates its connection to diamonds with a new diamond museum. The Belgian city is known around the world for its precious stones and is celebrating this heritage with DIVA, the new museum.
Located in a renovated 15th-century building, DIVA showcases Antwerp’s 600-year-old diamond trading scene. The new museum also celebrated Flemish traditions of jewelry design, especially in silver. Its exhibits are a combination of the former Diamond Museum and the now-closed Sterckshof Silver Museum.
According to Jeroen Martens, DIVA’s director, “DIVA will not be the blingiest museum, but we have a lot of glitter and glamour… We wanted to create a layered, more human experience for a very broad audience, not just culture lovers or specialists.”
New Museum Exhibits Glittering Diamonds
With over 600 items on display, DIVA separates it into six themed rooms. Set designer Carla Jansen Höfelt worked on five of them, creating exhibition sets, interactive displays, and soundscapes to bring Antwerp’s story to life. The Atelier demonstrates the craftsmanship that goes into diamond-cutting and silversmithing; the International Trading Room discusses the history of the diamond trade; the Dining Room looks at the luxurious consumption and rules of etiquette of Antwerp’s aristocrats; the Vault provides insight into questions of ethics and diamond crime, while the “Boudoir” exhibits DIVA’s most precious treasures.
The sixth “Wonder Room” (Wunderkammer) was designed by Gert Voorjans. An interior designer, she has created a room full of luxurious contemporary curiosities, including diamond-encrusted boots and a tennis racket.
DIVA’s dedicated butler, Jérome, takes visitors through each themed room, along with the special exhibitions, library, and museum shops. The aim is to show visitors the history of diamonds and jewelry-making.
The new museum is open throughout the week, except on Wednesdays. To learn more, visit their official website.