“There is no other commodity with such irresistable fascination as diamonds. People will risk their lives for them. They will betray, cheat, lie, deceive and murder. They will suffer privitations and dangers…for diamonds make dreams come true”
In April 1908 a worker clearing the railway between Ludertiz and Aus in southern Namibia found a peculiar looking quartz in the sand. While most other men probably would have walked straight past that rock, Zacharias immediately knew what he had found. He had worked in the diamond mines in Kimberly before he moved to Luderitz. So he picked up the stone and brought it back to Luderitz to his boss.
It triggered the most spectacular diamond rush Namibia has ever seen.
From 1908 up to the beginning of First World War, diamond miners had gathered approximately a ton of diamonds in a relatively small area of what today is called Sperrgebiet National Park, mainly just by sifting through the surface sand. There are stories about how the people living in Kolmanskop could crawl up and down Main Street picking up diamonds with tweezers on their way to and from the bowling hall or the general dealer.
In 1928, it was suddenly all over.
Larger diamond deposits had been discovered further south and the miners left overnight, searching for glimmering hopes of fame and fortune elsewhere.
The town of Kolmanskop was returned to the Namib Desert. And a spotted hyena called Delilah.
This is one of my favorite spots in Namibia.
There are no diamonds left in the Main Street, but there are hidden gems and untold stories in every house and every room.
You just need to dig a bit to find them.
(A bit out of the ordinary, I decided to jump from fiction to photo and join the Weekly Photo Challenge from Daily Post).