Hi everyone! As some of you know, I just returned after a trip to Amsterdam and Rome and, as promissed, will share my jewelry experiences from these remarkable places.
You know, sometimes you have two absolutely different pieces of jewelry, of different materials and styles far, far away from each other, and equally like both! This is what I feel towards these two cities.
Amsterdam is like a stylish old lady with the red lipstick and pearl necklace, opening her beautiful jewelry box and saying: “Look, how many old amazing things and stories I have”. Rome meanwhile is ironically lightning her strong cigar and grinning: “You know nothing about “old”, baby!”
For Amsterdam I want to show you the Diamant Museum. Once I wrote about this museum in my world jewelry “must go’s”. This time got to it myself and did not regret a minute!
It is situated right next to Rijsmuseum, Stedelijk and Van Gogh’s and gladdens with the absence of crazy lines. Since it is created by the local diamond company, I initially had some doubts about its exhibition – such places are often victims of unsophisticated and unhidden advertising. But these guys made it smart – so much to see and to learn! Pure pleasure!
The museum is quite big – two large floors with permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Throughout the journey you find out how the diamonds are mined and proccessed, what does their global history and industry look like, what are the most stunning objects and facts (both, from good and bad side). You will see the old tools and machines, stories about diamond trade and distribution, the exhibition of royal crowns from different cultures and countries.
I want to share with you some interesting facts about diamonds, which I found there:
– diamond crystals appeared around 3 bln years ago
– the first diamonds are thought to be found in India 1000 B.C. and it remained the most important supplier until the 18th century
– 20% of diamonds is used for jewelry, the rest – for industrial purposes. 95-99% of diamonds today are synthetic
– in Venice of the 14th century diamonds were cut for the 1st time
– in the 17th century Amsterdam became the world center for processing and trading diamonds. Up to modern days in Antwerp more than 60% of all cut diamonds in the world are traded
– the first diamond exhibition in the world was held in 1936.
One of the things that surprised me the most is that from the second half of the 19th century onwards, the people of the Netherlands have repeatedly presented jewels to its Queens as a national gift. No, literally, they gathered means and bought enormous diamonds for the crown. Many times. Can you imagine that?!
And, finally, why Amsterdam? How did it happen that this tiny cozy city became the world “City of Diamonds”? From 1576 many Protestants and Jews flew the Spanish repressions. After the fall of Antwerp in 1585 ,amy diamond workers moved from there to Amsterdam, as well. At the beginning of the 17th century, Jews from Portugal and Germany followed. Since 1960s the city became more the center of trading rather then processing because irrecovable losses to the jewelry industry occured during the two World Wars and the Great Depression.