A slump in the diamond polishing industry centered in the Indian city of Surat has led to the layoffs of upwards of 100,000 people, and that situation is expected to get worse this fall. No one is exactly sure what’s gone wrong – or more likely, several things are to blame. In any case, the situation has become dire for the people who eke out a living shaping the stones people around the world pay top dollar to put on their fingers and hang around their necks.
It’s Asscher’s 165th birthday this year, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than for someone to give me a gift. Please?
To this day, Amsterdam remains an important city in the global diamond industry, even though its status has been greatly diminished from what it once was.
Few people realize that during his own lifetime, Rembrandt was equally — if not more — known for his printmaking. There are about 300 paintings attributed to the artist. He also made 290 plates for printmaking, and each of those was used to make “scores, even hundreds” of impressions of each.
In Part 1 of this series, I covered some of the natural history of diamonds — how they come to be, where they are found, the properties that make them unique and why, in turn, that makes them valuable to people. In this part, I’ll start to take a look at the human history of diamonds.
I’ll try to untangle some of this mystery and put diamonds in the historical context of the Dutch Golden Age, and along the way, I hope to give some helpful hints about how the average person can better shop for diamonds. After all, I’m not selling anything (other than hopefully a novel someday soon), so I have nothing to gain.
Something big happened a month ago.
At least, it was to me. I reached the end of a sentence. The sentence was the end of a chapter, and the chapter was the end of a first draft, and that was the first book I ever wrote. Getting there was no small feat. This was the culmination of five efforts of writing the dang thing. By this point, I had lived with the idea of the story in my head for nearly twelve years. It was kinda a big deal.
And also, kind of not.