THE RIO DAS VELHAS
A Treasure of Brazil—Found in the famous Diamond Province of Minas-Géraes.
as little is known of this gem as of the " Star of Diamonds." It was
found about the year 1852, in the Rio-das-Velhas (Guaicuti), a large
river flowing from the Paraupeba Mountains, through the province of
Minas-Geraes, Brazil, northwards to the the right bank of the San
Francisco. In the absence of any further information it is interesting
to identify the locality of the river which gives the gem its title.
The upper branches of the San Francisco rise on the north of the
Serra-das-Vertentes, 3,000 feet above the sea. They are principally the
Paraupeba, and that more properly called the S. Francisco, which unite
after a course of above 150 miles in 190 20' S. lat. The
river then flows in a northerly direction to its junction with the
Rio-das-Velhas. Before this, however, it forms the cataracts of
Pirapora. The Rio-das-Velhas rises in the neighbourhood of Villa Rica
on the northern decli. ities of the Serra Mantiqueira, and runs upwards
of 250 miles.
is not unlikely that the stone under notice may have travelled down the
San Francisco to the point where it was eventually found. We hope at a
future day to trace its wanderings since those pre-adamite days when
nature first set it adrift in the " troubled waters."