Monday, 26 July 2010

Diamonds Are Forever

18 August 2001. You may remember we were on a canal boat trip in Amsterdam.

There will be plenty of time later to wander around on our own and it is those shots of canals and houses that are better than the ones taken from the boat, which were through glass and also from a very low viewpoint. We also have a night-time cruise to come when all the bridges are lit up with thousands of bulbs.

The boat drops us opposite one of Amsterdam's many diamond houses. Diamond cutting was introduced into Amsterdam in the late 1500s. They've been at it for a long while and many of the diamond firms offer tours which explain the cutting and polishing process, so that you understand exactly what it is that they hope you will buy.

There are some spectacular pieces on display - and no doubt far more spectacular diamonds to be seen on demand should they think you a serious buyer.

I saw a glint on the floor and licked a finger. It was a piece of "diamond dust", about 3 x 0.5 millimetres.

Not the easiest thing to see if it hadn't been for the bursts of colour reflected off the corners and edges. I showed the tour guide and he was quite happy for me to keep it. It of course fell off my finger as soon as we got outside...

Ok, form a line! Chris is about to take us on a quick walking tour of the city before leaving us to our own devices for a bit. See you next time!

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