Diamond sorting, South Africa 1880s

Diamond sorting, South Africa 1880s

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Credit: PATRICK LANDMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Final sorting of diamonds produced at Kimberley Mine, South Africa, 1880s. In 1866 a diamond was found near Hopetown, Northern Cape Province, and in 1869 a larger diamond, known as the Star of Africa, was found and initiated the South African Diamond Rush. Prospectors arrived from all over the world and diamond digging began in several areas. The largest area of excavation became the Kimberley Mine, later nicknamed The Big Hole . Kimberley Mine was located on farmland which was owned by the De Beers brothers, who gave their name to the company which later came to dominate the diamond industry.

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