Thursday, 22nd May 2014
Our second activity of the day after the Canal Cruise is to learn about diamonds at Gassan, which is one of the famous diamond houses in Amsterdam. We went into a museum which shows the tools and machines used during earlier days, history about the diamonds and how the craftsmen cut and polish the stones. We also learned about the '4 C's' (carat, colour, clarity and cut), and how the stone become shiny and sparkling.
According to Gassan Diamond House, these are the meanings of 4C's:
The weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. One carat equals 0.2 grams or 100 points.
Most diamonds range in colour from white to slightly yellow. However, diamonds can occur in all sorts of colours ranging from brownish to striking yellow, pink, purple, red and blue. These are called ‘fancy colours’.
The colour of a diamond is determined when we compare them to sample stones under a standardized artificial light. This light is the equivalent to the northern daylight. The types of colours in the image are just meant to indicate the difference in colour shades.
A diamond is loupe clean when he is free from internal faults. An experienced expert looks at the diamond with a 10x magnifying glass that enlarges under normal light. The other qualities are determined by the size, position, the brightness and the number of internal errors. And external faults are additional structure indicated. The lowest purity (denoted by p for piqué) refers to inclusions already with the naked eye to observe.
A diamond’s cut is essential to its beauty. If the diamond is not well-cut, the diamond will not interact with light as it should. Even a diamond with outstanding colour and clarity will not display the fire and brilliance that diamonds are famous for.
Then we all went to a room where the different sizes of the diamonds were presented to us. The presenter even allowed us to touch the stones, think this is one of the perks for this tour. He computed the worth of each stone which was at least $24,000 (USD). Wow! I can say is "for your eyes only" and "shine bright like a diamond".