Mu­seum mines all facets of dig­ging for di­a­monds

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTHINGS -

WENDYL MARTIN

THE dis­cov­ery of di­a­monds and min­ing changed the his­tory of SA, but many peo­ple are un­aware of di­a­monds’ ori­gins or how they are ex­ca­vated and make their way on to ring fin­gers all over the world.

To un­cover these mys­ter­ies, Shi­man­sky jewellers has opened the Cape Town Di­a­mond Mu­seum. Don’t ex­pect a dull tour of a dusty mu­seum. Through pic­tures, ar­ti­facts, mod­els, video and sound, the mu­seum takes you on a trip through time and process.

Lo­cated in the V&A Wa­ter­front’s Clock Tower, the mu­seum even of­fers an authen­tic ex­pe­ri­ence of a 1920s mine shaft.

Pa­trons don min­ing gear and are given a shovel and lamp for their walk through a dimly- lit shaft. Record­ings of fana­galo – a pid­gin lan­guage used as a lin­gua franca in mines – ring out in the back­ground.

Owner and founder of the mu­seum Yair Shi­man­sky says: “I have been to the mines in Kim­ber­ley many times, but not ev­ery­one has that op­por­tu­nity. This is a trib­ute to di­a­monds and South Africa played a ma­jor role in them. Un­der­stand­ing their whole jour­ney helps you ap­pre­ci­ate them more.”

The Cape Town Di­a­mond Mu­seum is open seven days a week. For in­for­ma­tion visit www.capetown­di­a­mond­mu­seum.or g or call (021) 421 2488 for book­ings.

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