Diamonds and Coral: Anglo-Dutch Jews and Eighteenth-Century Trade

By Gedalia Yogev | Go to book overview

Chapter 12

The Jewish framework

The important part which the Jews of London played in the importation of uncut diamonds from overseas has already been studied. The relevant documentary sources supply very little information on the second stage of the diamond trade: the link between London, the commercial centre of the trade, and the industrial centres of Amsterdam and Antwerp. The Prager letters, however, constitute a rich and unique source of information on this section of the diamond trade, which was also, to a large extent, in Jewish hands. In the eighteenth century the Dutch imported only insignificant quantities of uncut diamonds from the East, and after 1730 the diamond industry was dependent on two main sources of supply: London and Lisbon. London had a near-monopoly on Indian diamonds, 1 while Brazilian diamonds reached Amsterdam both legally directly from Lisbon - and illegally, through London. In Portugal the diamond trade constituted a crown-monopoly and was leased to a contractor, who was usually Dutch. During most of the period covered by the Prager letters up to 1787 - the contract was held by a certain Gildemeester, who used to distribute the stones several times a year to a limited group of customers in Amsterdam. 2 In 1787 the contract passed into the hands of the Jewish merchant Benjamin Cohen (also known as Benjamin Amersfoort), an acquaintance of the Pragers, who held it for a few years.

Formally, the possessor of the Portuguese contract had the exclusive right to distribute Brazilian diamonds in Europe. But, as the Prager letters show, side by side with this legal trade there existed a flourishing contraband trade through London. The diamonds were smuggled in the same packet-boats which carried Portuguese gold from Lisbon to Cornwall. There is, naturally, no possibility of determining either the volume of this illegal trade or its importance compared with the legal trade. But the Prager letters do show that Brazilian stones regularly reached the London market and that the 'new sort' (Brazilian diamonds) could be had there with the same ease as the 'old sort' (Indian diamonds). 3

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Diamonds and Coral: Anglo-Dutch Jews and Eighteenth-Century Trade
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 360

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.