The most important places
for diamonds have been: (1), in India where they were mined from the
earliest times till the close of the nineteenth, century; (2), South
America, where they have been mined since the middle of the eighteenth
century; (3), South Africa, to which almost the whole of the diamond
mining industry has been transferred since 1870.
Africa is a desert, Central Africa is a jungle and South Africa is one
great mine. In a good year, such as 1929, South Africa can export some
440,000,000 dollars worth of goods. Of that, around 240,000,000 dollars
come from gold and other minerals, 50,000,000 dollars from a single
hard, white glistening gem—the diamond. Gold is a familiar metal found
in many places. It has stood so long for money, a medium of exchange,
that it belongs rather to the world than to any nation. But diamonds
are the purest of all luxuries.
first discovery of diamonds in South Africa was made in 1867 by Dr. W.
G. Atherstone who identified as a diamond a pebble found by a child on
a farm on the