Amsterdam Sights

Diamond factories

see how diamond cutters are at work and discover the diamond in all its facets

Amsterdam has a long heritage in the diamonds, and has been a major diamond centre since Sephardic Jews introduced the diamond cutting industry in the later 16th century.

Guided tours

Nowadays there are about a dozen diamond factories in the city, five of which offer guided tours. The tours are free and are usually conducted daily from 9am to 5pm. You will see how diamonds are worked, and when you buy from a factory you get an extensive description of the purchase so you know exactly what you are buying.

diamantslijperij
See the art of diamond cutting in one of Amsterdam's diamond factories

Jewish diamond industry in Amsterdam

The different diamond factories in Amsterdam are a reminder of Amsterdam's flourishing Jewish diamond industry before World War II. The diamond trade was dominated by Sephardic Jews from Spain and Portugal with international commercial contacts in the areas where diamonds were to be found. Besides the trade, the cutting of the diamonds also became a predominantly Jewish business.

diamantslijper
Coster Diamonds - craftman at work

Jews were not allowed to join guilds, so they were unable to engage in traditional trades. As there was no guild for diamond cutters, Jews were free to specialise in this trade from the 17th century onwards.

In the early 20th century around 30% of the male and 10% of the female Jewish population of Amsterdam worked in the Diamond industry.

Amsterdam diamond factories

The following renowned diamond factories offer diamond-cutting and polishing tours, and sales of the finished diamonds:

Coster Diamonds
   Paulus Potterstraat 2-4 (Oud-Zuid, close to Museumplein)
Coster Diamonds is the oldest, still operating diamond factory in Europe. Over 350,000 visitors see craftsmen at work every year. Free-guided tours are available in more than 25 languages, the process of cutting and polishing a diamond is explained in detail. After the tour, visitors have the opportunity to browse around in the spacious showrooms.         open daily from 9:00 to 17:00

Gassan Diamonds
   Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 173-175 (Waterlooplein)
Free tours at Gassan Diamonds in 27+ languages take around 20 minutes         open daily from 9:00 to 17:00

Royal Asscher
   Tolstraat 127 (Zuid, De Pijp)
Only 10 Asscher family members and 15 of the 500 polishers survived the Holocaust. During the war the patent on the famous, original Asscher cut expired and other companies started to utilize the Asscher cut. Today original Asscher cut diamonds are for sale via retailers .

City Diamonds
   Kalverstraat 51 (Dam Square)
City Diamonds has its own diamond factory and has been cutting and polishing diamonds for generations. They design, manufacture and sell diamond jewelry as well as many international well-known watch brands in their Kalverstraat store.

Van Amstel Diamond
   Herengracht 282 (Canal Belt)
diamond trading company and jewellery manufacturer with headquarters in Amsterdam

Zazare Diamonds
   Weteringschans 89 (Spiegelkwartier)
In a 30-minute tour visitors learn about the different shapes, sizes and colors and they can admire the Star of Amsterdam, Zazare's masterpiece with 257 facets.


diamantbeurs
Amsterdam's former diamond bourse building on the Weesperplein

Diamonds

when in Amsterdam visit one of the authentic diamond factories


The history of the diamond

see actual diamond cutters and goldsmiths at work in the Diamant Museum Amsterdam


New Diamond Bourse

Hogehilweg 14 (Zuidoost)
The Amsterdam Diamond Exchange
the oldest diamond bourse in the world


Jews of Amsterdam

read more about the Jewish Community of Amsterdam