DIAMOND MINES OF SOUTH AFRICA.
the autumn of 1868 news reached England from Capetown that diamonds had
been found in the gold districts on Orange River, midway between the
eastern and western coasts of South Africa. And in the spring of the
following year all doubts that had been either genuine, or instigated
by jealous fear of disturbance in the diamond trade, were silenced by
the discovery of the "African Koh-i-noor," valued at about $150,000.
splendid stone, destined to create a stir that should widen into the
most distant circles, was found by a poor herdsman, who had the supreme
happiness to dispose of it for five hundred sheep, ten head of cattle,
and a horse. It was taken to Capetown, where an injunction was placed
upon it by emissaries of Waterboer, chief of the Griquas, who claimed
it as the possession of his own territory; but, for lack of proof, the
injunction was removed, and the diamond finally reached England. From
that time tidings of new discoveries became more and more frequent; and
the Griquas began successfully to search the beds of their streams.
1870 public attention had become thoroughly aroused. Already
enterprising men and capitalists, among them Coster of Amsterdam, were