PermanentThis is a small impression of the permanent collection shown throughout the year in the Diamant Museum Amsterdam.
The exhibition begins with a short film that follows the diamond from its formation deep within the earth 3 billion years ago, on its journey via mining, distribution, trade and processing to the splendid jewel adorning one’s neck, wrist or finger.
Diamond is a unique crystallization of carbon atoms, the structure of which gives the diamond its enormous hardness. Examples of crystals are on display, including the ten minerals included in Mohs scale of mineral hardness. The industrial uses of the diamond are also briefly explored.
A video programme explains the processing of the diamond from its rough to its polished form. The tools used are also described.
The placement of a diamond in a piece of jewellery is the craft of the goldsmith. Displays of the most prominent ring settings, the ring casting process and the tools used by the goldsmith provide an impression of this craft. The differences to be found between the contemporary diamond jewellery from five countries are pointed out using examples on display.
5. 4 C’s
By means of examples, the influence of the 4 C’s (carat, clarity, colour and cut) on the valuation of the polished diamond are explained.
6. House of Oranje- Nassau
The royal house of the Netherlands has a renowned collection of diamonds and jewels. Replicas of several important pieces are accompanied by descriptions of their use during coronations and weddings.
7. Famous diamonds
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.
De Beers is the largest producer of rough diamonds in the world. The firm’s Diamond Trading Company distributes approximately 60% of the world’s production. In this way, De Beers has ensured that the market and value of diamonds remained as stable as possible for decennia.
9. Amsterdam, City of Diamonds
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.
10. Genuine or Imitation
Whether a diamond is real or fake is a determining factor in its value. Testing for genuineness requires a specialised expertise, particularly now that many synthetic diamonds are on the market. The visitor is given the opportunity to ascertain the genuineness of a diamond him/herself. A video programme describes the various methods of testing.
11. Diamond robberies
Contributing to the sometimes mythical fame of diamonds is the spectacular way in which they have been stolen over the centuries. Several of these robberies, some from real-life and some from films, are presented in this display, in part as a video programme.
12, Glamour room
The visitor is given a spectacular impression of how diamonds and glamour go together in this diamond-shaped mirror-lined room.