My next book is about diamond smuggling in Africa in WW2. One of the most enjoyable aspects is the research in to the topic and the interesting things you find.
The first diamond found in South Africa was in 1866 on the farm De Kalk on the south bank of the Orange River. 15 year old farmer’s son Erasmus Jacobs found a transparent shiny stone. He showed the stone to his parents and his mother mentioned it to a neighbour. The stone was sent by mail to Dr Atherstone, the colony'...s foremost mineralogist. He confirmed that it was a 21.25 carat diamond and it was named the Eureka.
The stone was apparently put on display at the 1867 Paris Exhibition but on its return to South Africa, was bought for £500 by the Governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Philip Wodehouse. The stone then remained in the United Kingdom for 100 years. On 16 April 1946, the Eureka now cut in to a 10.73 carat gem, was sold in London at a Christie's public auction as part of a bangle, for £5,700. In 1967, 100 years after its discovery, De Beers purchased the diamond and donated it to the people of South African.
Not the biggest or the best diamond to come from South Africa BUT THE FIRST!.
My first history book, Mud, Blood and Bayonet is due to be released on 1 Jan 2018. It is a history of the 6th Dorsetshire Regiment in 1918, day by day, for them the bloodiest year of the war.