Visiting the Big Hole, the diamond mine of De Beers in Kimberley, Northern Cape

At the entrance to the De Beers Mines in Northern Cape, South Africa

This morning I visited the Big Hole, which is the great diamond mine of De Beers in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

The weather was very warm and I initially was not planning to look at diamonds at all.

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However, Kimberley is a city whose fate is completely tied to diamonds, so it’s inevitable that you get drawn into thinking about diamonds — and buying them.

So when I walked into the Big Hole, I was already of half a mind to at least look for a pink diamond.

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That’s on my Big Picture wishlist although it’s not urgent; and I thought that if I found a pink diamond for a bargain — is there ever such a thing? — I might make some attempts to take out the credit card.

This was on the wall of the De Beers Big Hole Museum. Haha.

Of course, pink diamonds are rare and fabulously expensive if they are flawless and fine.

So I wasn’t really thinking straight — I blame it on all the rooibos tea and the talk of life in Kimberley and its connection to diamonds in the past two days.


This is an eight carat unpolished diamond

Anyway, in the end, I ended up not buying any diamonds.

I didn’t even look at stones except for five minutes, to see what an eight carat unpolished gem looks like.

This was the two-carat top-grade diamond ring

I also tried on a US$50,000 diamond ring which was two carats of the best quality.

Of course this was not something I was even remotely thinking about, but I just had to see what such a beautiful diamond on my finger was like.

And with all the sadness in our part of the world, this certainly isn’t the time to be buying anything extravagant.


I bought this tree for my dining table

So instead, I bought this lovely original artwork by a local artist in Kimberley. I fell in love with it instantly, imagining it on my dining table as a centerpiece.

I even thought I might put appetizers on it when I host a dinner, a la El Celler de Can Roca.

Now all I have to do is find time to host such a dinner in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.