Have you ever wondered why gold and diamonds are so valuable? Why does everyone seem to lose their minds when they see them. Let’s see the answer to this and many other questions:
In the southernmost part of Africa, there are immense riches in gold and diamonds hidden underground. What could be found with little effort on the surface was scooped out early and enriched the daring gold prospectors of the 19th century.
But today gold and diamonds have to be searched deep underground with the help of powerful machinery. Therefore, it is no longer an adventure, it is an industry.
In the middle of the last century, gold had been found in some places, so many prospectors went around with their equipment hoping to find an important deposit; if they found gold dust or pebbles in the river sands, or the characteristic nuggets, it meant that the precious metal existed somewhere, in rocks from which the water had detached it.
But in 1870 an extraordinary piece of news of another kind emerged: “In the interior near the Orange River, diamonds have been discovered.” Thousands of adventurers from all countries ran into that still wild region, where a city soon emerged: Kimberley.
The children of a peasant playing in the sands of a river found a stone that gave off beautiful sparkles: it was a thick diamond.
Like gold, diamonds are also extracted from the rocks inside which they have formed or from sand deposits caused by the action of the waters. Diamonds are the hardest stones in the world.
Through a very delicate procedure and using other diamonds or their dust, the rough diamond is cut and squared (that is, as it is at the time of extraction) and transformed into one or more cut diamonds – on these gems the light it is refracted obtaining very beautiful effects.
A few years later a Mr. Robinson had news that traces of gold had been found in the north. He went exploring, but found nothing.
One afternoon he stopped to visit a widow who owns a farm, tripped over a large stone, looked at it carefully and saw that it contained gold. He had found the largest deposit in the world, in the richest gold zone on Earth.
Gold is appreciated for its beauty, for its scarcity and because it is unalterable, that is, it is not attacked by any other element.
Gold and diamonds are found mixed in large amounts of rocks, but you have to excavate tons of material to find a few grams or a shiny pebble.
A diamond mine is made by drilling a huge mouth in the ground, which lengthens as the walls and bottom are excavated. Johannesburg, the city of gold prospectors, is surrounded by small hills, residues of the ground excavated in the old mines.
The modern ones go down to great depths that reach in the deepest galleries three and a half kilometers below the earth’s surface and it is planned to make them even deeper. They are lowered by special elevators that can carry 120 men on each trip, at the speed of 900 meters per minute.
The work in the mines is very heavy. The vast majority of miners are indigenous because blacks are more used than whites to do these tough jobs. Furthermore, in South Africa there is a system of government in which there is a separation between the two races, considering privileged whites to the detriment of people of color.