I didn’t have to think twice about accepting an offer to experience the Shimanksy Diamond Tour, set in the heart of Cape Town. We were treated to a fascinating explanation and viewing of the world of diamonds, a story 3 billion years in the making.
To set the tone, the rooms are all black and subtly lit from above, which feels luxurious and authentic when we think about mining. The tour begins where diamonds started in the earth’s surface. Then, we go through the way civilisations found and used the precious gems. At the Clock Tower museum, you can even walk through a diamond mining tunnel instillation. We discovered the importance and abundance of diamonds in South Africa historically, before seeing replicas of world famous diamonds.
Once we understand the history of diamonds, we get to see the gems in action today. Through glass windows, you can see diamond cutters, carefully observing and cutting the stones into facets. Then we see the polishers, polishing the diamonds to perfection. Finally, we see the diamond setters, who place the diamonds into jewellery, whether it be for a ring, earrings or a necklace, which will finally end up on a cushion in a little box for someone lucky. Here, the guide tells us about Mr Shimansky himself, and the stringent process their employees go through before being able to sit behind the glass.
Finally, the tour ends off in the Shimansky Showroom, where you are offered a drink of your choice, be it coffee or MCC, which I found to be rather fitting. It is a room with rows of glass cabinets, all set with diamonds and tanzanite on display. People can either buy the gems as they are – as collectors often do, or set in jewellery, which can also be custom-made. We also see the Shimansky patented diamonds under magnification – the My Girl and Brilliant 10.
For a unique experience in Cape Town, one needs to pay a visit to Shimanksy and see the dazzling diamonds for themselves. The non-profit, complimentary tour takes 45 minutes, and will leave you with a sparkle in your eye.
For more information about the tour, visit www.shamsnky.com/tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 21 421 2788
Booking is essential.
The tour takes place at the Clock Tower in the V&A Waterfront or Rockwell residences.