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Aug 6th, 2013


Weighing in at 206.5 carat, the Fineberg-Jones diamond was found in 1911 at Niekerk’s Rush on the Vaal River, South Africa.

On the whole, the alluvial diamonds in the lower Vaal River were markedly superior in quality to the average product of the kimberlitic occurrences. In 1912 the price per carat for the alluvial diamonds in Griqualand West was three times higher than the price per carat given for diamonds of the De Beers kimberlite. Several large stones have been discovered in these alluvial gravels. It is noteworthy that five of the biggest stones were found at Gong-Gong. This probably reflects the favorable bed roughness of this area. In 1914, Wagner noted that the diamond diggers were particularly interested in gravels with “bantams”.

Gong Gong Vaal River

“Bantams” (from the Dutch term “bandom” meaning “band around”) refers to a very well-rounded, banded metamorphic pebble containing about fifty percent or more of spessartine, the rest being quartz, chlorite and andalusite. Its association with the diamond in the gravel is due primarily to its specific gravity, which varies between 3.2 and 3.4. The term has, however, been extended to pebbles of any heavy rock or mineral like banded ironstone, hematite and corundum, and may be taken as synonymous with accompanying minerals.

Its current whereabouts is unknown.


Notable Diamonds of the World

The alluvial diamond deposits of the lower Vaal river between Barkly West and the Vaal-Harts confluence in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa, Fabrice Gilbert Matheys

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