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World

London's diamond district feels the heat

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Opening sequence

World

London's diamond district feels the heat

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COMING UP:London's diamond district feels the heat

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> Diamond jewelry has been made and sold in this square half-mile of London since medieval times. Hatton Garden is a collection of vaults, tunnels, stores and workshops dedicated to the craft. But now its future could go either way, as Reuters senior gold correspondent Jan Harvey explains.>> In 2 years time when a crossrail opens in Farrington and extra 82,000 people will be traveling along that line every day through that station.
00:00:30
The station is only 115 meters from Hatton Garden and it's gonna being much more foot fall to the area. That's a big opportunity for the retailers here but it's also potentially a threat. That's attracted many more business to this area. It's potentially pushing up rents. And that means that some people that were working here, for the artisan jewelers, for the craftsmen, it's becoming much more expensive to operate here.
00:00:52
>> Rent in the area have as much as doubled in the last three years. And stiff competition from online retailers is also making life difficult for London's diamond hub. Websites often give customers a price point from which to negotiate in Hatton Garden. The physical stores' higher overheads make matching prices tough.
00:01:15
>> This is an area which doesn't just sell jewelry, it also makes it. And that process of making the jewelry that is under threat, more than the retail side now.>> Jewelers here are hoping the opportunity they give consumers to fall in love with an individual piece in person outweighs the online experience.
00:01:36
There's been a push for planning requirements to force landlords to provide space to jewelers at below market rates. But with Amazon and Goldman Sachs moving in, De Beers, the diamond company moving out and demands from hungry young media and tech companies ever growing. Jewelers determination to stay at the heart of the district won't be easy.