chapter  3
The scramble for Africa, 1870s–1890s
Pages 32

Early in 1867, a South African teenager name Erasmus Jacobs sat down beneath a tree to rest after fixing a water pipe on the “de Kalk” family farm. A mooi klip – “beautiful stone” – caught his eye; he gathered it up, took it home, and gave it to his siblings to play with. After some weeks passed Erasmus and his sisters and brother brought out the stone to use in a game they were playing. A neighbor – the former owner of “de Kalk,” Schalk van Niekerk – arrived and noticed the stone. He took it to the window of the home and scraped the glass with it to see whether it would cut or mark its surface. It cut. Van Niekerk left with the stone and eventually brought it to Dr. William Atherstone, a mineralogist, for examination.