From 6000 years ago were known and recovers the diamonds at Ban Rivers. Until the early nineteenth century it was considered that it was only possible to get them in commercial quantities in India and Brazil. But this changed dramatically in 1866 when a peasant named Erasmus Jacobs found a white stone on the bank of Orange River near Hopetown in South Africa. It was a diamond of 4.25 grams. Five years later he was found a similar stone on a hill called Colesberg Kopje near the first finding with the difference that was four times larger: 16.7 grams or 83.5 carats. This second finding determined the start of the call South African diamond fever.
Thousands of miners arrived as a marabunta to make the hill disappear by the effort of their muscles. But they didn’t stop, they continued to diamond digging and pulling up into a hole of 400 meters wide and 1097 meters deep. In 1914 when the mine closed, they had hand moved twenty tons of earth.
It is the deepest hole made by human hands. They only used picks, shovels, muscles and the greed of more than fifty thousand white adventurers from Europe mostly in search of diamonds to get rich suddenly.
The city was renamed Kimberly in honor of foreign minister of England in 1873 John Wodehouse, First Earl of Kimberley.
The term diamond comes from Greek and means unchanging, unbreakable. The Greeks knew from 3,000 years ago. They came from India where they were collected from the rivers Penner, Krishna and Godavari. In India were used as religious icons and a engraving tools for its hardness.
Humphry Davy was a British chemist, in 1813 found that the diamond is not nothing but cooked carbon at high pressure between 45-60 kilo bars and high temperatures of 900-1300 Celsius degrees. They are very special conditions that are only found in the mantle of the lithosphere and the place where a meteorite falls
Since its inception was a company owned and Cecil Rhodes who raised an empire by slave labor of Africans who never seized the benefits of diamond production. Rhodes´ company, De Beers still controls the diamonds market today and is the one that popularized the slogan "Diamonds are forever", declared the slogan of the twentieth century. Currently the company is controlled by the Oppenheimer family.
De Beers has been widely criticized for continuing for more than a century a policy that gives priority to increase their wealth over the people. They are accused of forcing the bushmen, those peaceful people of the Kalahari out of their ancient territory, to facilitate the company´s extraction and appropriation of diamonds from their territories. They are also accused of promoting the so-called blood diamonds encouraging coups and military uprisings to control diamond-mining centers .
Some famous English models such as Erin O'Connor and Lily Cole and supermodel Somali Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid have publicly renounced advertising campaigns for this company De Beers.