In Amsterdam, Diamonds can be a Girl’s Best Friend:If Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, then we should really get to know a little more about our best friend’s qualities – the 4C’s. What’s our best friend’s colour, is our best friend cut like a princess, oval or pear-shape, and how heavy is our best friend (in carats) and what’s the clarity of our best friend’s internal characteristics, are there any flaws? All these questions can be answered in a visit to an Amsterdam diamond factory.
In our case, Gassan Diamonds is the first stop on the first day of our holidays, probably causing palpitations amongst some of the men, will they be financially ruined even before the holiday has started?
Amsterdam’s Diamond Cutting Credentials
Gassan Diamonds is a company that was founded by Samuel Gassan in 1945, but the Dutch have been in diamond cutting and polishing since the 1800s.
Amsterdam cutters have worked on many famous diamonds including those of the British Crown jewellery. When the largest ever rough gem-quality diamond was found (a 3.106-carat-large stone) King Edward VII commissioned Amsterdam cutters to work on it. From this large stone, the expert cutters created the Cullinan I, which adorns the British royal scepter and Cullinan II, the main stone in Queen Elizabeth II’s crown. In addition, 7 medium-sized and 96 small diamonds were cut from this large stone.
Queen Victoria also called on an Amsterdam cutter to come to London to work on the world famous KOH-I-NOOR diamond, the Mountain of Light. She wasn’t happy with the diamond’s brilliance and the Dutch cutter was able to turn the KOH-I-NOOR into a stunning jewel in the presence of the royal family. KOH-I-NOOR is one of the main stones in the royal crown.So, if you’re interested in buying diamonds, Amsterdam has great credentials as a diamond centre. Gassan Diamonds run free diamond tours 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., all year round, so no matter which day of the week you’re in Amsterdam, you’ll be able to join a tour.
At Gassan’s diamond tours, the multilingual guides provide a presentation of the diamond types and classes and prices. You get to see diamonds being crafted through the various stages and rough diamonds turned into sparkling, exquisitely polished stones. There’s an amazing selection of stones which you can also choose and have it mounted while you wait. This was the piece that I fancied, but I wasn’t allowed to buy it!
The tour lasts for about one hour and then you’re free to roam the large sales room where there’s a large collection of jewellery for sale. Men really needn’t worry as there are lots of small pieces of jewellery for sale that wouldn’t break the bank. From the ladies’ perspective, what a great treasure of a souvenir to have from Amsterdam!
And just in case you missed buying something at the factory, there is a Gassan Diamond shop at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 173-175
NL-1011 LN Amsterdam
Tel: +31 (0) 20-6225333
I was in Coster and Gassan factories/shops and I must say the second one did a really good job. They have an excellent structure for turism and really want sell their beautiful diamonds. I bought some perfect brilliant rocks for investment, and also received the 19% tax refund at the airport. For sure I will go back.
Helen Page says
Did you say Rocks? A shopper after my own heart!
My Fiancee and I were in Coster and Gassan factories/shops last month and I must say the second one did a really good job. They have an excellent structure for turism and really want sell their beautiful diamonds. I bought some perfect brilliant diamonds for investment, and also received the 19% tax refund at the airport. For sure I will go back.
I was more involved than her!
Helen Page says
Your fiancee is very lucky! How does the tax refund in Amsterdam work. Did you do after Customs and did you get a cash refund?
It is very easy. First you can not be a European to get the tax refund. During the buying you ask for the specific form to get the tax back to your pocket (if you forget to ask the seller will remind you!!). Any goods which cost more than €50 you can claim, but the percentage will vary (my leather coat cost me 170.00 and I received less than 10%, in Gassan was €2500 and €368 flew back to my pocket). Before the Customs you fi up the form with few details, and choose how you want receive the value: in cash, into your bank account, or into your credit card. After the Customs (excellent treatment I have received) you go to the Global Tax Refund place into the airport to get your money back. Clean and quick system.
Helen Page says
Thanks very much Oscar. Information like this is helpful to other travellers.