Guide The Valley of Diamonds

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Apt 1, Valley of the Diamonds, Pier Rd, Enniscrone, Sligo

Irish News. The great French merchant of the 17th century, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, knew well enough that in his day India was the land where diamonds were to be had almost for the asking. Certainly they had been prized in that country for thousands of years, and at the ancient city of Golconda, near Hydrabad, the mines produced unbelievable wealth.

Tavemier visited India, and although even in his day the mines had passed their best, he was undoubtedly looking in the right direction. He may not have found the limitless supply of readily available stones about which he had read, but some of the individual diamonds the Frenchman saw were so staggeringly large that he must have felt his fortune was just round the corner. Apart from such legendary stones as the Koh-i-Nor, Tavernier, was allowed to set eyes on the diamond referred to today as The Great Mogul, which had weighed carats when found, as well as The Great Table, of more than carats after cutting.

Just how big these stones really were is impossible to say, as both eventually vanished in mysterious circumstances and the ancient Indian measure of a carat was based on the seed of the carob tree and somewhat less exact than the modern standard of milligrams. Even so, Tavernier certainly knew a valuable stone when he saw one, and the sight of such gems must have made him all the more certain that somewhere in India was to be found a huge deposit of similar stones.

But if such a place did exist, the Frenchman never found it and it seems unlikely that anyone else did either, as the industry in the East dwindled to nothing when diamonds were discovered in Brazil. The Brazilian fields were rich, but they lost their importance after , when a South African farmer named Schalk van Niekerk happened to notice a pebble that was being used as a plaything by a group of children. Van Niekerk realised that the pebble was a diamond. Arguing that where there was one big diamond there might well be more, he kept his eyes open and was soon able to buy an even bigger one for the not unreasonable price of a horse, 10 oxen, and sheep.

But where had such stones come from? The Indian and Brazilian diamonds had been found in sandstone deposits, often pulverised into gravel at the bottom of streams and rivers. What was more, South Africa had already been dismissed by experts as being unlikely to yield diamonds anywhere.

enter They found diamonds, but nothing that compared with the huge deposits that were subsequently discovered in the region around what is now Kimberley. But although these new finds were to prove the foundation of the South African diamond industry, old prospectors were puzzled that they were not near rivers.


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A new and absorbing interest took hold of the minds of the diamond hunters: forecasting where the next deposits would be found. And not just ordinary deposits. And as nobody had any very clear idea as to what diamonds were or what caused them to be made, all kinds of far fetched theories began to gain ground. A South African engineer named Fabian Cox argued that the most sensible scheme was to follow a likely river, on the theory that at some time in the past its waters must have flowed over the volcanic pipes, washed away tons of diamonds, and then lost them as they fell into underwater holes or chasms.

Director: Aaron Arendt.

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Writer: Mary McIlwain. Added to Watchlist Add to Watchlist. What's on Freddie Highmore's Watchlist? All Feature Film Action Feature Film Use the HTML below. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. Photos Add Image Add an image Do you have any images for this title? Edit Cast Credited cast: Jordan Ender Thadeous Price Jon Cohn Sam Shortridge Robert Poe Sudsy Mary McIlwain Vanda Vitale John Knuth Officer Knudson Takeshi Miura Sagawas Dallas Richard Hallam Dallas Tifanie McQueen Eva Michael Price Dale Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Martin Alatorre Leche Aaron Arendt Bartender Mason Hall Officer Hall Darienne Hetherman French Girl Michael Holmes