Most of us know about the California Gold Rush of 1849. But how many of us have heard of the extraordinary Lichtenberg Diamond Rush of 1926?
In ’49, for the first to get out West, scooping gold nuggets from the river beds was child’s play.
Likewise, in ’27, in Lichtenberg, South Africa, there were heaps diamonds for the diggers who got there first. And, amazingly, almost no digging had to be done!
In fact, what made Lichtenberg so unusual were the huge quantities of diamonds found just beneath the top soil.
Between 1926 and 1929, Lichtenberg became the largest diamond site in history until that time, with the biggest gathering of diggers ever assembled.
Seekers of fortune came on foot and by mule cart, on bicycles and in cars, from across Africa, Australia, and Europe. But it started out with a good dose of skepticism.
Diamonds Dropped by a Bird?
When John Voorendyk discovered a 3 carat diamond on his farm, he called in a respected geologist – who declared that it must have been carried and dropped there by a bird.
But no bird was involved at all. There was, indeed, buried treasure to be found.
Though called 49ers by others, those who rushed to California in 1849 called themselves Argonauts – after the ancient Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, about a band of heroic adventurers who set sail on bold journeys in search of the Golden Fleece.
This ancient myth resonates throughout the ages. As do the California Gold Rush and the Lichtenberg Diamond Rush, the story speaks to the adventurer in all of us.
Without any question, wonderful opportunities of every kind surround us all. Just out of sight, there’s gold and diamonds within reach.
But do we have eyes that see? And the adventurous spirit we need – to set forth in search of our good fortune?
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