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Royal Coster Diamonds Historical Timeline

Our history

Not long after our establishment in 1840, Queen Victoria of England reached out to Coster for a very special assignment. Without realizing it at that time, this assignment would mark the start of an impressive legacy.

Research by Pauline Willemse.

1840

The diamond polishing factory M.E. Coster was founded by Mr. Moses Coster at the Binnen Amstel/Korte Houtstraat, at the Waterlooplein, in Amsterdam.

1848

After the death of Moses Coster, his son Martin Coster took over the position of director of Coster. When Moses Elias Coster died, he left a will for his wife and 11 children. Three of them entered into a partnership. Meijer Moses (Martin) Coster was involved most in the company until he moved to Paris.

1850

The company is managed by diamond cutter Abraham Eliazer Daniëls.

1851

Martin Coster moves to Paris, where he sets up a cutting factory as well. In the following years he acquires a near-monopoly on diamond cutting in the world’s jewellery capital.

1852

The main diamond of the British Crown Jewels, the Koh-I-Noor, needs to be recut. This diamond is one of the largest and oldest cut diamonds in the world. Coster was commisioned to arrange this, so he sends two of his best polishers, J. A. Fedder and L. B. Voorzanger to England to polish the Koh-I-Noor. They work for 38 days to transform the 186 carat Koh-I-Noor into a 105 carat oval brilliant.

1854

Coster was visited by Count Leopold II of Belgium

1855

The entire Amsterdam diamond industry wins a medal of honour at the World Exhibition in Paris. The Star of the South diamond is cut from the 225 carat rough to a 125 carat cushion brilliant by Coster in Amsterdam and exhibited in Paris. During the first state visit by a British monarch to France in 400 years, Queen Victoria dazzles Paris with the Koh-I-Noor set in her newly made crown diadem.

1861

Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander of Oranje-Nassau visits Coster.

1862

Dutch King Willem III of Oranje-Nassau and his son visit Coster. In the same year, Dutch Prince Frederik of Oranje-Nassau also pays a visit to the diamond polishing factory.

1864

French Prince Napoleon Jozef Karel Paul Bonaparte visits Coster.

1867

Martin Coster builds a replica of its polishing factory at the World Exhibition in Paris and supplies many diamonds to the Parisian jewellers exhibiting their work. The factory is one of the highlights of the exhibition and attracted worldwide media attention. In 1868 Martin Coster is appointed as Consul General of the Netherlands by King William III.

1868

Egyptian Princes Hussein Kamel and Tewfik Pasha visit Coster.

1864

Russian Tsarevitsj Nicolaas Aleksandrovitsj visits Coster.

1878

The company exhibits in the World Exhibition in Paris. One of the most talked about exhibits is shown in this pavilion: the large diamond with King Willem III’s portrait engraved in it, made by M.C. de Vries, one of Coster’s cutters. The medallion still is one of the highlights in the Dutch Royal Collection.

1870

Meijer Moses Coster (Martin) remained heir, but the company was run by Abraham Eliazer Daniels his son, who was a well-known municipal councillor in Amsterdam.

1880

Martin Coster passes away in Paris. His impressive tombstone is located in the heart of MontMartre grave site in Paris, where he spent his last years. He is remembered in the Dutch media as one of the best Consuls General the Netherlands has ever had.

1884

Austrian Empress Sisi and daughter Archbishop Valerie paid Coster a visit.

1887

Italian Crown Prince Victor Emanuel III and his consort Helena Of Montenegro Petrović-Njegoš visit Coster.

1896

Li Hongzhan, Viceroy of Zhili (now China) visits Coster.

1897

Dutch Queen Wilhelmina and King Rama V of Siam visit Coster together.

1910

The last heir and son of Guillaume Frederic Isidore (Willem) Coster and Julia Emanuel Coster was commissioner and Managing Director, but sold the company to Felix Theodort Manus. The company’s name was changed from M. E. Coster into N.V. Maatschappij tot Exploitatie der Diamantslijperij M. E. Coster.

1929

The economic crisis hits the Netherlands pretty hard. Many diamond polishing factories had to close down, but Coster remained.

1940

Because of the anti-Jewish occupation during WWII, Benjamin Manus was no longer allowed to lead the company. A Verwalter (leading person and German sympathizer) was serving in the name of the Wirtschaftsprüfstelle, selling all diamonds to Bozenhardt & Co.

1943

Benjamin Manus and his family were send to the concentration camp Sobibor in Poland from where they did not return.

1947

A business agent named Maurice Henri Spier, guided the company. Because of the Restitution of Legal Rights Decree, a lawyer continued to manage the company until 1956.

1951

As a part of the post-war reconstruction, diamond cutter Wim Biallosterski was given the opportunity to buy Coster. The premises welcomed a diamond cutter, polisher, goldsmith, seller, jeweller, purchaser of rough diamonds and several partners, including Samual Gassan.

1959

The people in The Netherlands collected money for a jointly gift – a bracelet watch – for the fiftieth birthday of Her Majesty Queen Juliana. The young but talented diamond polisher Ben Meier was commissioned to polish the more than 275 diamonds for the watch.

1962

Together business partners Joop Schoots and Max Meents, Ben Meier founded “Coster Diamonds” and created a new future for the company.

1970

Coster Diamonds found a new accommodation at the Museumplein, between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

1985

In Zaire, the Lucullan diamond was found. With its 181.15 carats it is the largest unpolished gem in the world and it is to be seen at Coster Diamonds.

1982

Coster Diamonds formed with Amsterdam Diamond Center, Gassan Diamonds, Van Moppes Diamonds, Holshuijsen-Stoeltie Diamonds the Diamonds Foundation Amsterdam to jointly promote Amsterdam as Amsterdam City of Diamonds.

1987

Current director Kees Noomen started his career at Coster Diamonds. He became Managing Director in 2001 and shareholder in 2006, together with Ben Meier and Errol Hotie. Kees is also actively involved in politics as a municipal councillor and party chairman.

1994

Pauline Willemse complete the job at Coster Diamonds to polish a 57 faceted stone, weighing 0.0000743 carats, the smallest diamond in the world.

1995

Coster Diamonds incorporates Van Moppes Diamonds.

2005

Ten years later, Coster Diamonds was obliged to close the Van Moppes factory. Due to events like terrorism and Sars in the Far East, there weren’t enough visitors. A few years later, the Van Moppes factory was transformed into the very luxurious Sir Albert hotel.

2007

Opening of the Diamond Museum Amsterdam next door to display some of the world’s most beautiful diamond artefacts.

2007

Mr. Bobby Low and Mr. Donny Griffioen of Coster Diamonds introduce a new patented diamond cut with 201 facets instead of 57. This brilliant cut is called the Royal 201 and to this day it is the most sparkling diamond in the world.

2013

Owner Ben Meier passes away on December 1st. Coster Diamonds is now owned by his daughters and CEO Kees Noomen & CFO Errol Hotie.

2014

Coster Diamonds purchases Moppes Diamondland SPRL in the heart of Antwerp: The World Diamond Center. Diamondland is a self-reliant sister company of Coster.

2016

Coster Diamonds celebrates the 175th anniversary

2016

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands grants Coster Diamonds the Honorary title Royal (Dutch: Koninklijk). This turned Coster Diamonds into Royal Coster. To become Royal, an organization has to be leading in its field of expertise, be of national importance and has to be in existence for at least 100 years.

2016

CCO Annemieke Jansen receives honorary certificate for working at Royal Coster Diamonds for 50 years.

2017

Royal Coster Diamonds opens the first diamond store outside Amsterdam. The “Amsterdam Diamond House” in the Designer Outlet Roermond, is a collaboration between Royal Coster Diamonds and GASSAN Diamonds.

2017

Royal Coster developed a crest that belongs to our Royal Title. The crest contains all subjects that represent the core values of our company. At the same time it is a tribute to Martin Coster.

2017

Royal Coster reveals a life size mosaic Miffy in the front yard, made by renowned artist Fabrice Hünd. This eye-catching statue makes a great place for taking photos of your trip to Amsterdam

2018

Rama V’s great-great-granddaughter and Thai Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana visits us.

2019

Of course, we do not only value our Royal visitors. We welcome and appreciate all of our guests and look forward to introduce you to the magical world of diamonds.

2016

New spacious, luxurious showrooms that fit every group size are the pride of the company

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