Diamond-Studded Paths: Lines of Communication and the Trading Network of the Hellemans Family, Jewellers from Antwerp

  • Christina M. Anderson
Part of the Europe's Asian Centuries book series (EAC)


In the late sixteenth century, the Hellemans family of Antwerp benefitted from an extensive trading network stretching from South America across Europe to the Near East and India. At the heart of this was the trade in diamonds and other gems. This chapter examines the strategies that the family employed first in building their network, including marriage alliances and the establishment of business relationships with other trading diasporas such as the Germans. It then analyses the ways in which family members both acquired and displayed expertise in their core diamond trade. Finally, it evaluates the reasons for the breakdown of the network after the death of the last of the Hellemans brothers and looks at its legacy through to the mid-seventeenth century.


Hellemans family Diamond trade Commercial networks Antwerp 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina M. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.University College LondonLondonUK

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