PLYMOUTH, Ind. - Aug. 1, 2017 - PRLog -- Most days, Lori Van Duyne doesn't travel too far. She's busy here in Plymouth, working at Fernbaugh's Jewelers, the jewelry store she owns with her husband Brian. But that will change in October, when Van Duyne embarks on an epic 4,000+ mile journey in a search for special diamonds.
"We're going to Antwerp, which is in Belgium," Van Duyne explains. "The Diamond Quarter is the largest diamond market in the world. Close to 90% of the world's diamonds pass through Antwerp, either as rough or cut stones."
Van Duyne is a Gemological Institute of America trained diamond grader. She's putting her skills to full use as she sources diamonds for Fernbaugh's Jeweler's customers. "There are engagement rings that need a superior diamond," she explained, "and when someone wants a piece of custom jewelry created for them, that design can demand one or more diamonds of very specific size, color, and quality. Antwerp has the World Diamond Center and four diamond trading exchanges. If you can't find the right diamond there," Van Duyne laughed, "It probably can't be found anywhere."
As an added bonus, diamonds are very competitively priced in Antwerp. "When you buy directly this way, there are many levels of middlemen who are just cut out of the picture entirely," Van Duyne explained. "So you save money. Your diamond buying dollar goes further. That means you can get a larger diamond than you ordinarily would have, or a better quality stone – it's a smart way to buy diamonds." People who would like a diamond from Antwerp themselves but have no plans to travel to Belgium in the near future are invited to talk to Van Duyne. "I'll be happy to act as your personal shopper," she said. "Tell me what type of diamond you'd like to have, and I'll put it on the shopping list."
Over the years, Van Duyne has made the trip to Antwerp several times, and each time, she's found diamonds for Plymouth-area residents who are creating special pieces of jewelry. "It's my favorite part of the process," she explained. "The travel is wonderful. Antwerp is a beautiful city with friendly people. But it's that moment when you get home, and you can show someone the diamond they've been thinking about and dreaming about for all of this time – it's magical the way their faces light up, the smiles – that really makes it all worth it."
Lori Van Duyne
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Plymouth Jeweler to Take Epic 4,000+ Mile Journey in Search for Special Diamonds
August 01, 2017 at 12:07 PM EDT