THE DIAMOND OFFICE
ROM the pulsator the diamonds are sent to the general office in Kimberley to be cleansed in a boiling mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids. A parcel of diamonds loses about half a part per iooo by this treatment. On one of my visits to the diamond office the door opened and in walked two young men, each carrying a large enamelled saucepan containing something steaming hot. They went to one of the zinc-covered tables and turned out from the saucepans a lustrous heap of 25,000 carats of diamonds (Fig. 10). They had just been boiled in acid and washed.
After purification the diamonds are handed to the valuators (Fig. n), who sort them into classes, according to size, colour, and 73