Remember the Rainforest 1
Among the stones that were found in the Diamantino District, and of public notoriety, this one occupies, by its size, the fourth place among all (1). In addition to diamonds, other precious stones are found in the same mines, and the Board sometimes, after the consequent examination, sets aside, as not verifiable, many of the latter, that were delivered with the others. The Board was kind enough to offer us these stones in order to have them examined more closely in Europe. They are currently in the Brazilian Museum of Munich.
They are mainly chrysoberyls of remarkable varieties of color, that is, olive oil yellow, blue-gray, turning to asparagus green, pistachio green turning to sky blue;
These last ones are called in Brazil green aquamarines and sapphires.
In addition, among them are white and blue topaz, spinels, quartz of remarkable
Pink quartz crystal
beauty of pink red and sea green, corundum and, finally, grains of azurite. They also showed us some pieces of bottle glass, to which blacks, by polishing, gave an octahedral shape, and, by rubbing on tin, created the color of diamonds. They tried to sell them as if they were precious gems. Indeed, these copies of the gemstones, with which blacks seek to deceive newcomers from abroad, bear some resemblance to the genuine brilliants; only the expert soon distinguishes them by their weightlessness, the usual brilliance is missing, the sound made by scratching them with diamonds, and the impossibility of cutting glass with them.
After reviewing the entire supply of diamonds found this year by all the members of the Board, and drafting the lists, it was wrapped in the presence of all members. After putting the bags in a closed Moroccan-lined box with two padlocks, one by the quartermaster general and the other by the government inspector, and then delivered, with the session documentation, to the Dragon Detachment, addressed to his majesty the King, to be sent to the governor of Vila Rica, and dispatched to Rio de Janeiro for the King.
The main portion of diamonds has always been supplied by the two main rivers of the Diamantino District, the Jequitinhonha River and the Pardo River. The first river is born on the Serra do Gaviao, southeast of Tejuco, which makes a big curve around this place, runs fast, joined by the Itacambirucu, Aracuai and several other rivers, towards the northeast of the
(1) According to official information from the Diamantina Board, during the time of the lease, a 7-octave diamond was found, which, ignorantly, was broken in the anvil in several pieces in 1780, a 4-octave one, 11¼ grains, and in the year 1803, one of 4 octaves. The largest of all the brilliant Brazilians diamonds, known to date, is one of 138½ carat weight and was found outside the Demarcation, in the Abaete River, in the year 1771. It is currently in Rio de Janeiro, kept in the Treasury.