As the global epicentre of the diamond trade, Belgium was only ever going to be the location that Shamas BVBA had in mind when it was deciding where to lay the foundations of its business.
That was the best part of 30 years ago and the company has never looked back.
For managing director Anuj Sahny, being based in Antwerp to serve the European and American markets is as “logical” today as it was back in the 1980s when the company was just finding its feet.
“Antwerp deals with over 80% of all mined diamonds and over 50% of all polished diamonds,” he says. “Being in the diamond capital of the world increases our ease of travelling and the ability of customers to visit.”
But although Shamas has been manufacturing and trading in diamonds from the same place for three decades, it is a business that has evolved with the times, not least since Sahny has been at the helm.
“I took over the reins nearly 20 years ago and have changed the operating style and system of working,” he explains. “Now we produce only nice makes and specialise in natural diamonds from non-conflict mining.
“We work directly with diamond dealers and mainly with jewellery manufacturers in Europe and North America.
“We are known for our consistent make and assortments, and have shifted all final assortment and diamond manufacturing above 50 points to Belgium. We have created a reputation for that.”
Sahny says that exclusively focusing on working with and selling only natural diamonds from non-conflict mining is a clear strategic decision. The strength of his opinion on the matter suggests that isn’t going to change any time soon.
“Natural diamonds have a history of millions of years and are eternally natural. We do not sell or believe in chemical vapour deposition (CVD).
“For us, it has no value as it has no resale value and it’s man-made. There is no history with each piece, so it does not have any special emotional value added.”
He continues: “CVD is fashion jewellery. It has no resale value. It is good for people who want to buy something cheap and wear and forget. Natural diamonds are millions of years old, and each stone is individual and special.
“You can always sell natural diamonds and retain the value, depending on when and where you bought it. Higher value diamonds and larger stones are bought as investments and storage of wealth. Natural diamonds are forever and eternal.”
Shamas works with a number of diamond dealers and jewellery manufacturers in the UK, but it is always looking to do more. Shipments can be delivered within 24 to 48 hours and it is accustomed to managing the safe despatch of goods with a value from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
“Clients like the service and delivery – without stepping out of their offices and at prices with great quality to match,” says Sahny.