When the diamond trade was introduced to Amsterdam in the 16th century, this city developed into one of the world's most important diamond centers. After the Second World War almost nothing remained of this. During the War more than 2000 Jewish diamond polishers disappeared from Amsterdam into concentration camps in Germany and Poland.
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. Nowadays the diamond trade attracts millions of tourists and buyers from around the world. Most diamond polishers as well as diamond traders give demonstrations in diamond cutting.
Many diamond shops can be found in Amsterdam including: Gassan Diamonds, Amsterdam Diamond Center, Van Moppes Diamonds, Stoeltie 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.
One attractive visit is go to a Diamond Workshop. There you'll enjoy buying jewels at good price and see the incredible transformation. There are several places in the city: Amsterdam Diamond Center (located in Rokin). I went to Gassan Diamonds and was a great visit! People was really nice!
Enjoy yourself next to a diamond that cost the salary of all your life! It's a strange feeling!
Free guided tours in more than 25 languages, fancy shops for your perusal, diamonds are explained to you in more detail than you thought possible-----open 7 days a week from 9-5----contact them ahead of time and they will send you materiels for your examination before your visit---I recommend this if interested in Diamonds.....
its free...and if you haven't seen how diamonds are cut and refined...then this is the place to go! and if your planning on buying a diamond anyway...you'll find the best here! free beverages while you wait for your tour.
**hint: if you are going as an individual and not part of a large tour group then be forewarned that weekends are hectic here. they cater to the alrge tour groups first then wait until there is a large enough number of inidividuals to start it; problem is, they do it in different languages so if you are the only english speaking person then you'll be waiting a long time for a tour. weekdays are apparently better and earlier in the morning is best. i suppose you can;t complain since its a free tour!**
Amsterdam is known for its diamond cutting. If you can afford it, a diamond does make an interesting souvenir. On the other hand, even if the budget doesn’t include a diamond it can still be fun to visit. Not only will you see some very nice pieces, but get to watch and learn how a diamond is cut.
Best of all they don’t charge to look and watch. However if you plan to buy, do your homework first. While very honest, depending of the exchange rate at the time, you may be able to buy cheaper at home.
Also don’t forget about your home country customs. For Americans, double check before buying, however at this time you can bring in a loose stone duty free, but must pay if it is mounted.
Cheap but good quality European manufactured jewellery. Especially diamonds!
I joined the tour. 25 people(!!) of us went to Gassan diamonds. They gazed at the diamonds,,completely captured by the luminous sparkle.