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Diamond Rush or Rat Race? Gemstones found in South Africa turn out to be quartz

Last week, a cattle herder in KwaHlathi in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province found something he thought to be diamonds. He was wrong, but this did not prevent thousands from flocking to the site in hopes of hitting the jackpot.

Three stones discovered in KwaHlathi in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province last week are not diamonds, but quartz crystal, whose value is significantly lower than diamonds, according to preliminary findings made by local authorities and cited by the Daily Mail.

More than 1,000 fortune hunters rushed to the South African village in search of what they desperately believed to be diamonds last week.

This, in turn, prompted local authorities to send geoscientists and mining specialists to the site who collected testing samples and frustrated the public looking for something more valuable and precious.

Researchers also stated that the site rested near a sill of volcanic rock named dolerite which was not in a zone where diamond occurrences are usually present.

Prior to the report, several ambitious people had already started selling the stones, with the starting price ranging from 100 rand (approx. $7) to 300 rand (around $21).

The diamond industry is huge in South Africa as diamond mines there produce millions of carats annually, with the industry contributing billions to the local economy.