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Amsterdam has a long heritage in the diamonds, being a major diamond cutting and polishing centre since Sephardic Jews introduced diamond cutting in later 16th century. I guess the most concentration of diamond cutters houses are here in Amsterdam.
I have visited the Stoeltei Diamonds (included in the Amsterdam Pass), and had a negative impression. And I'll tell you why. After searching for the location, the whole "experience" is 5 minutes of showing a panel with the types of cuts and the process of cutting, and then quickly into the "showroom" where the hosts tries to sell you diamond rings (1000-1000 EUR) or maybe just polished diamonds (200-500 EUR).
That was not quite what I had in mind when I was looking for a diamond factory visit.
Gassan Diamonds is one of the early diamond industries at Amsterdam.
The factory operated on steam from 1880, but the history of this company goes back 400 years.
Due to the introduction of steam the building had to be build big.
Nowadays many tourists visit the plant daily; there even is a canal boat stop.
Free tours are 7 days a week, all year round from 9AM to 5PM, but you have to book via the company's website in advance.
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A great experience inside the diamonds world.
Dream about dozen of diamond rings, necklaces, etc...
This is really something you don't have to miss.
The exhibition begins with a short film that follows the diamond from its formation deep within the earth 3 milliard years ago, on its journey via mining, distribution, trade and processing to the splendid jewel adorning one’s neck, wrist or finger.
Some diamonds are world famous because of their history and/or their unique beauty. Replicas of 22 famous diamonds are on display, each with their own story.
For almost 400 years, Amsterdam was the leading diamond polishing centre in the world. Now this is no longer true, but it continues to be the city where the most direct sales to the consumer are made. A timeline describes 400 years of diamond history. A number of prominent Amsterdam diamond polishing firms are briefly highlighted, along with a presentation of the famous stones they have polished.
The visitor is given a spectacular impression of how diamonds and glamour go together in this diamond-shaped mirror-lined room.
Since 1840 Coster Diamonds is one of the oldest firms (factories) from Amsterdam, which cuts and polishes diamonds.
In 1852 they've got from prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) to repolish the famous blue-white Koh-I-Noor diamond (almost 109 carats), which is part of England's crown jewels.
When visiting Coster Diamonds you can see besides the replica of the England's crown with this diamond also the process of cutting and polishing of a diamond.
Diamonds, a fading glory that still shines
Though Antwerpen and Amsterdam are still making up 95% of the world diamond cutting industry, the role of Amsterdam is slowly fading towards a bigger importance of Antwerpen. This however used to be different as only a few decades ago Amsterdam was number one of those two. Still, in Amsterdam there are many diamond cutting "factories" and atelliers in which the diamonds are put into gold and silver to become precious jewelery. There are various guided tours on this item and one can book them at the tourist office near the Central Station. Remember: diamonds are forever.
Amsterdam has some very well priced diamonds in a number of shops around Amsterdam. The stones are brought in and get cut and polished by the locals tradesperson then sold in a variety of sizes and settings. This is a good place to buy diamonds to bring home (is in NZ anyway) as you can buy them duty free and then get a local person to make your ring etc. If you visit a shop you can often see one of the staff working on the stones.
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Throughout Amsterdam there are Diamond Museums dotted around, there is one near the Leidseplein. If you ask at your hotel reception about it i am sure that they give you a card for free entry (not sure whether it is free entry in anycase mind, but we got a card from our hotel). Anyhow...we went there as one of my friends had gone and she went on this tour that took you round the museum and then at the end they were able to pick a champagne flute and in the bottom there were diamonds - fake and real ones so if you were lucky you got a real one - and she did, and when she got home she got it made into a ring....Anyhow when we went it was nothing like she described (perhaps we got the wrong place?) but it was still interesting, you get to see 'men at work' making diamonds, and the processes involved with how the rock ends up on a ring, note; there was no picking of the diamond in a champagne flute, but a little gift shop at the end. So, if you have a spare hour one day then the diamond museum is worth a little visit.
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World renowned for exceptionally cut diamonds
You can visit awesome diamond-cutting factories, and can even purchase exceptionally cut & decorated jewellery.
My Mum bought quite a few pieces from here, which always catch people's eyes & comments!
Fellas, a must-do, to treat a special lady in your life.
They don't say "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" for nothing!
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It is not advisible to visit the Diamonds factories specially with your wifes ,fiancees,girlfriends etc.etc.You can take this suggestion as a warning tip.During the war Amsterdam losts 2000 diamond workers.After the war the diamond trade was in part returned to its former glory due to the efforts of the diamond merchants and help from abroad.Most diamond polishers as well as diamond traders give demonstrations in diamond cutting in some factories and shops
Like Gassan Diamonds, Amsterdam Diamond Center, Van Moppes Diamonds and Coster Diamonds. Many famous diamonds were cut and polished in Amsterdam. For example, the "Cullinan", the largest diamond ever found. But also the "Koh-I-Noor", which means Mountain of Light, was cut for the British Crown Jewels in 1852. Furthermore, the world's smallest diamond, just 0.00012 carat, but with 57 facest, was also cut in Amsterdam.
Experiencing the tour of Coster Diamonds shop is a must, especially for the gem lovers! A number of people are allowed in the back room of the shop, where employees will then lock the doors and bring diamonds out for an up close and personal, hands-on display. They give a demonstration of how they set the diamonds and pass around different styles, shapes and sizes of loose stones. Once all the diamonds are returned safely to their cases, the doors are unlocked and guests are able to purchase jewelry and other items from Coster's gift shop.
The Gassan Diamonds
Amsterdam is renowned for its diamonds.
The Gassan Diamond collection is the most exquisite and extensive collection in the Netherlands!
You can experience the sensation of diamond cutting first-hand and view every stage of the process
Some scenes from the Bond film Diamonds are Forever were shot in Amsterdam.
Make time to visit at least one. Diamonds - the diamond trade was first introduced to Amsterdam during the 16th century and today the city continues to be one of the world's most important diamond centres. During the World War II, more than 2000 Amsterdam Jewish diamond polishers vanished into concentration camps in Germany and Poland and by the end of the War practically nothing was left of the trade.
I went to Costers Diamonds where you can see them at work as well as view their showroom (of course). Make sure you don’t take your credit card – tempting.!!!
Free Coffee...and it's good.
And they also have free soda if your not a coffee drinker. The tour is pretty interesting as well. So if your in the need for some free coffee or soda, and have an hour to kill, check out Gassan Diamonds. They are open 7 days a week from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Visual information centre, which shows all aspects of the diamond industry with the attention on the history of the diamond industry in Amsterdam. A permanent exhibition aobut diamonds where you can admire several famous diamonds as the Koh-i-Noor, the cullian and the Rembrandt.
Centro de información visual que quiere exponer todos los aspectos de la industrias del diamante con énfasis en la industria del diamante de Amsterdam. Hay una exposición permanente sobre diamantes y puedes admirar también varios diamantes famosos, como por ejemplo el Koh-i-Noor, el Cullinan y el Rembrandt
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Tour Amsterdam's Gem-Cutting...
Tour Amsterdam's Gem-Cutting Factories:
You get to meet polishers working in the back & discover the art of diamond-cutting & shaping.
VAN MOPPES DIAMONDS: The world's smallest cut diamond of 0.24 milligrams can be found here.
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Amsterdam Travel Guide
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