Gassan Diamonds is an importer, exporter, cutter and polisher of diamonds. The company was founded in Amsterdam in 1945 by Samuel Gassan. At this time they mainly concentrated on the sharpening of diamonds, as well as the trading of rough and polished diamonds and other precious stones.
The company traded diamonds, both in a retail and a wholesale capacity. Tourists from all over the world came to Amsterdam and began to take an interest in the diamond trade. Samuel Gassan noticed this and realised that this could be another arm to his business. In 1955 the company first officially invited tourists to view the cutting, grinding and polishing of diamonds.
This proved a great success for the company and it soon built up a significant popularity in the Amsterdam tourist trade. The tourists who visited the company also turned out to be good customers and soon they brought in a significant revenue by buying the diamonds as well as watching the demonstrations of the craft.
Samuel Gassan died in 1983, but the company continued to go from strength to strength. Two of Samuel Gassan’s grandson’s took over the day to day running of Gassan Diamonds withe the elder, Benno Leeser, taking on the role of managing director. Benno Leeser had been with the company since 1973. Guy Leeser came in 1980, and operates from the headquarters of Gassan Diamonds in New York.
The New Premises
In 1990 the company was growing too big for it’s building and needed to move to a much larger premises. The building that they took over is a former diamond factory, that used to be powered by steam. The factory is right in the heart of Amsterdam and is much larger than the old premises. The numbers of tourist’s continued to grow and has reached about three hundred and fifty thousand a year.
Gassan Diamonds Today
If you visit Gassan Diamonds today you will be able to see for yourself the craft and skill of the diamond cutters at work. You will also learn about the history of diamond cutting in Amsterdam, and also some of the more technical aspects such as the meaning of, carats, colour, clarity and cuts that go to make up the trade of the diamond cutter.
Free tour’s are held every day from 9:00 to 17:00 and are conducted in 27 languages. There is an on site jewellery store.
Gassan Diamondscan be found at Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 173-175 , 1011 LN Amsterdam Holland. Telephone: 020 – 622 5333.