be increasing; but in 1852 it was evidently on the wane. The estimated
value of Brazilian Diamonds from 1861 to 1867, the date of the
discovery of the South African Diamonds, was about £1,888,000.
very interesting information was given by the German traveller, Herr
von Tschudi, who visited the city of Diamantina, in February, 1858. He
observes: "The pivot on which Diamantina turns is Diamonds. I was
present during the unexampled commercial crisis which extended from
town to town, and country to country, with such disastrous
consequences, and which fell with the weight of an avalanche on the
inhabitants of Diamantina. All business was stopped, and Diamonds fell
to one-half the price they reached only the year before."
panic described by Von Tschudi was severe, but it is very doubtful
whether any panic was ever equal in extent and importance to that
caused by the discovery of the riches in South Africa, which produced a
revolution in the Diamond market.
country was more incredulous about the prodigious yields of the South
African mines than Brazil, and this perversity made the loss disastrous
to the Brazilian merchants, as they refused to receive the warnings
which were sent them in perfect good faith. The favour bestowed on the
Cape Diamonds, and the great margin of profit which they yielded,
resulted in the Brazilian Diamonds being more and more neglected ; and
as the difficulties were augmented by the predilection of Amsterdam
workmen for the new stones, a depreciation followed greater than that
which the prices obtained for Cape stones justified.
Cape yield of large stones led to the general rejection of the small,
such as were furnished by the Brazil merchants in every parcel which
they supplied to the