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The Cape Police Memorial

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 17 APRIL

UPDATED: 17/04/2019

17 April 1904, Memorial to the Cape Police who died in the Anglo-Boer War unveiled.
17 April 1912, Formal leave taking of Reverend Harris Isaacs by the Jewish community.
17 April 1946, Main building of Girls High School nearly destroyed in fire.
17 April 1954, Frances Baard elected President of the PE Branch of the Federation of SA Women.
17 April 1974, Abel Maretela finds the world’s (current) largest uncut diamond in Dutoitspan Mine, the 616.

DID YOU KNOW

The Cape Police Memorial (pictured) was dedicated to those members of the Cape Police, the Cape Colonial constabulary, who lost their lives during the Anglo-Boer South African war of 1899-1902. The park was first known as Rendlesham Gardens and described as “nicely laid out grounds and pretty villas which surround it.” At the time that De Beers donated the land for the memorial, it was known as Belgrave Park.

The memorial was unveiled on 17 April 1904 by Lt-Colonel HT Tamplin, the Crown Prosecutor, and De Beers Consolidated Mines presented the site in Belgravia to the public of Kimberley.

The monument was constructed entirely of red and grey granite and was purchased from Messrs MacDonald, Monumental Works, Aberdeen, Scotland, and that the four round (red) pillars are polished. The remainder of the structure is unpolished, the lions being of grey granite.

The figure of the Cape policeman standing on the pillars faces Carter’s Ridge battlefield where several Cape Police lost their lives during the siege and measures some 6 feet 4 inches, that being the ideal height for a policeman!

Messrs E.W. Tarry & Co manufactured the railings of rifles and fixed bayonets –the bayonets have long been vandalized – in Kimberley at a cost of 30 shillings per rifle.

The charge for the monument at the mason’s yard came to £650, and the Union Castle shipping line and the railway authorities reduced the transportation costs quite considerably. De Beers paid for the erection of the monument. (If all transport had been paid for the total cost of the memorial would have come to £1400.)

UPDATED: 17/04/2018

17 April 1904, Memorial to the Cape Police who died in the Anglo-Boer War unveiled.
17 April 1912, Formal leave taking of Reverend Harris Isaacs by the Jewish community.
17 April 1946, Main building of Girls High School nearly destroyed in fire.
17 April 1954, Frances Baard elected President of the PE Branch of the Federation of SA Women.
17 April 1974, Abel Maretela finds the world’s (current) largest uncut diamond in Dutoitspan Mine, the 616.

DID YOU KNOW

The Kimberley Octahedral Diamond (the “616”, pictured) is the largest naturally formed octahedral diamond crystal discovered in the world, in the Dutoitspan Mine, one of the diamond mines situated in the Kimberley region of South Africa.

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The Kimberley Octahedral Diamond, the “616”

The name of the diamond reflects its place of origin, Kimberley, the internationally renowned diamond producing region of the world, situated in South Africa, where diamonds were first discovered in 1869. The Kimberley octahedral diamond is also referred to as the “616 Diamond”, which is a reference to its carat weight.

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John Gie & Mick Harris

The diamond has been preserved in its natural octahedral state, and is a yellow diamond with a weight of 616 carats. As the diamond remains uncut the usual colour and clarity grades and type of cut applicable to cut and polished diamonds do not apply for this diamond. The diamond still being in its natural state can only be described in terms of its shape (octahedral), colour (yellow) and weight (616 carats).

The Kimberley Octahedral diamond is the largest naturally formed octahedral diamond crystal in the world, and it was the seventh largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered in the world in 1964. Today it is the 14th largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered in the world.

The diamond being yellow is a Type I diamond, in which the yellow colour is caused by the presence of trace quantities of nitrogen impurities in the crystal structure of the diamond. Nitrogen atoms absorb visible light in the blue region of the spectrum causing its complementary colour yellow to appear.

 

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John Gie, Cecile Black & Mick Harris

However it is not possible to characterize the diamond as Type Ia or Type Ib, as the exact colour grading of the diamond is not known, since it still remains un-cut. The intense shades of yellow such as fancy intense and fancy vivid come under Type Ib, but these diamonds are very scarce constituting only about 0.1 % of all naturally occurring diamonds. The canary yellow diamonds also belong to this rare group. The remaining shades of yellow such as fancy yellow, fancy light yellow, light yellow, very light yellow, and faint yellow all belong to Type Ia, which constitute almost 98 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

 

The intense yellow colours of Type Ib diamonds are caused by single nitrogen atoms scattered in the crystal structure of the diamond. The medium and lighter shades of yellow of Type Ia diamonds are caused by groups of odd numbers of nitrogen atoms in the crystal, such a 3-atoms, known as N-3 centers.

The diamond was discovered on 17 April 1974 in the Dutoitspan Mine by mine worker Abel Maretela. There are two versions of the discovery by Maretela, one being it was found by him on a conveyor belt, and the other that it was in the wall of a tunnel he was walking down.

The rough diamond was so enormous, and it turned out to be the largest octahedral diamond crystal ever discovered. De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd., who were aware of the rarity of this exceptional find decided to preserve it for the sake of posterity, as the chances of finding a similar diamond of such enormous size was extremely remote.

The diamond is today exhibited in the “Diamond Vault” of the visitors centre of the “Kimberley Big Hole” together with the “Eureka Diamond” the first diamond to be discovered in South Africa.

(Mostly from Internet Stones.COM. Internet Stones.COM Media established by Dr Shihaan Larif is the most authoritative and popular website in the field of Famous Diamonds, Gemstones, Pearls and Rare Minerals. It has been quoted, referenced and linked by Forbes, Bloomberg, Guardian (UK), Rediff, The Star (Canada), JCK, etc).

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

Aeon Computer Kimberley

About Steve Lunderstedt

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