Diamonds in Amsterdam

Old Sep 1st, 2001, 10:05 PM
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Diamonds in Amsterdam

Does anyone know if the diamonds in Amsterdam are a good buy? Why are there so many diamond stores which sell loose diamonds? I will be there in two weeks and am thinking about making some diamond purchases. Or should I purchase diamonds from the US? Thanks.
Old Sep 3rd, 2001, 03:38 PM
John Bermont
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Why are there so many diamond stores which sell loose diamonds?

As I recall, the duty rate for loose diamonds is lower than for mounted stones at US Customs. If you are under the duty free allowances this would be no problem.
"Know Before You Go" is a good place to start checking re-entry formalities on coming home. It doesn't discuss diamonds in particular but you can start there and work some links to find what you need to know. This booklet is online at

Whether diamonds are a good buy or not is in the eye of the beholder. I bought my wife's engagement ring in Paris at a backstreet upstairs dealer mentioned in the book "Paris Pas Cher." On our visit to Amsterdam I stopped in a diamond merchant on Damrak and had it evaluated; he priced it higher than I had paid.
It is my understanding that Antwerp is now the center for diamonds, but can you trust TV?

John Bermont

Old Sep 3rd, 2001, 04:15 PM
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John Bermont -- please don't add your, obviously, commercial website to every post. It violates the Fodor site policy. If your email is valid people can ask you more questions that way.
Old Sep 3rd, 2001, 05:10 PM
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While in Amserdam last spring, we visited Coster Diamond Exchange, featured both in Fodors (and that other guy's) guide book. It seems to have high reputation for quality. It is located adjacent to the museumplein, right across the street from the Van Gogh Museum. The tram lines run on that street, so very easy to get to. After a brief tour, during which they demonstrated how diamonds were cut and polished, and a brief explanation of the complex diamond rating system, we were escorted into a small room with another couple. We were then shown a large number of loose diamonds of various grades, and began to recognize the familiar tones of the "sales pitch." The other couple excused themselves, and were graciously allowed to leave (what I mean is, no hassle), but my wife, who knows something about diamonds, was very curious, and we stayed. He answered many questions, and then showed us to the main sales room, where we were shown a wide selection of mounted jewelry, of very high quality. We ended up not buying, though we were sorely tempted, as the quality was obviously quite high, and we came away believing that, while tourist oriented, we were not being "taken." And, we did learn even more about the diamond process.
However, price-wise, there is no "deal." The prices quoted were similar to a good discount jewelry dealer here in the USA. Our conclusion: At least at Coster, we felt we could rely on the quality, and had there been something we "had" to have, we would have had no qualms about buying there.
We did not go into any other dealer, or sidewalk vendor.
After leaving Coster (enjoyed their complimentary beverages), went across the street, and spent the next couple of hours looking at Van Gogh (that guy was crazy!).
Hope this helps.
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 08:12 AM
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I must've not been paying enough attention while in Amsterdam 3 years ago.

Was it mainly just diamonds or other precious stones - like sapphire ?

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