Tolstraat 127 Amsterdam

Working on the principle of needing ample light for the diamonds to be worked within, the castle-like factory had huge windows and originally featured a police station outside. At one time over 500 diamond polishers worked in the building alongside numerous administrative staff and family. At this time the Asscher Diamond Company was one of the largest diamond manufacturers in the world, cutting and polishing diamonds for famous jewellery maisons in Europe and the United States.

It was here in this grand building where some of the largest and most iconic diamonds in the world were cleaved and polished. Such was the stature of 127 Tolstraat that the area became known as the Diamantbuurt (DiamondDistrict) with street names such as Diamantstraat (Diamondstreet), Robijnstraat (Rubystreet), Saffierstraat (SapphireStreet) and Smaragdstraat (EmeraldStreet).

At the turn of the twentieth century, Asscher Diamonds was one of the largest diamond manufacturers in the world, cutting and polishing diamonds for the most famous jewelry houses in Europe and the United States. All around the factory are beautiful workers cottages where many of the diamond polishers lived.

Now, the area is known as the “Asscher Quarter” with additional street names such as Cullinanplein. While the old factory is now a light filled luxury apartments complex, the main tower remains Royal Asscher’s headquarters to this day.