London's diamond district not so rock solid

London's Diamond District not So Rock Solid

Diamondjewellery 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 with crossrail opening in just two years time - its future is in doubt.

Reuters correspondant, Jan Harvey, said: "The station every day, station only 150m from Hatton Garden, bring much more footfall to the area. That's a big opportunity but it's also potentially a threat, that has attracted lots of businesses to area, it's potentially pushing up rents."

Rents in the area have doubled in the last three years and stiff competition from online retailers is also making life difficult.

Arlington Jewellers owner, Stephen Berman, said: "We're dealers, we're traders. Every time a customer walks in it's a new deal. We're not Tiffany, I haven't got a little blue box to rely on. We have to offer more. We offer fantastic value for money."

The stores' higher overheads make matching prices tough. The area has also faced criticism for failing to promote itself.

Some argue that planning rules should be used to force landlords to provide space to jewellers at below market rates.

But with Amazon and Goldman Sachs already moving in and hungry young media and tech companies eyeing the area many jewellers may decide that a Hatton Garden store is a luxury they can't afford.

10 incredible auctions
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10 incredible auctions

The most expensive watch ever sold at auction fetched just under $24 million in November 2014. The gold pocket watch was made by Patek Philippe, and is the most complex ever made without the use of computer technology.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication was commissioned in 1925, and took eight years to make.

The world's most expensive stamp sold at auction in 2014 for over $9 million.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta is as rare as a stamp can get. British Guiana was one of the first countries in the New World to start issuing stamps, but in 1856, they ran out, and asked the local newspaper printer to produce extras.

There were two denominations: the four-cent, which is very rare, and the one-cent - of which only one has ever been discovered.

In May 2015, an anonymous London businesswoman snapped up the licence plate KR15 HNA for £233,000, making it the most expensive standard number plate ever to be sold in the UK.

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

They have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," said auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

In 2014, a three-year-old slice of cake sold at auction for $7,500 (£4,800). The reason the stale cake was in such demand was that it was from the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011.

The buyer said he intended to give it away as part of promoting his Silicon Valley start-up.

A British coin sold at auction for a record-breaking £430,000 in 2014. After fees, the buyer paid £516,000 - making it the most expensive modern British coin ever to be sold.

The coin is only one of two in existence. It was a 'proof' for a gold sovereign which was meant to be produced to commemorate the coronation of Edward VIII in 1937. However, Edward abdicated in 1936, so the coronation never happened and the coins were never made

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