Diamond museum opens in Cape Town
A new museum in Cape Town is giving those on trips to South Africa a chance to explore an essential component of the country's history.
The Cape Town Diamond Museum, the first of its kind in the city, has now opened its doors to the public in the newly upgraded Clock Tower precinct at the Waterfront area of the Cape Town.
It is impossible to understand South African history without addressing the role that the diamond trade has had to play in creating the country that exists today.
Diamonds were first discovered in the Northern Cape province in 1867 and prompted a period of mass immigration to the country, creating new towns and leading to the rapid expansion of Cape Town, which benefited from increased trade through its port.
The region's mineral wealth was also a large factor in triggering the Anglo-Boer wars which eventually led to the Union of South Africa.
"The Diamond Museum is an exciting addition to Cape Town's diversity of attractions - telling the stories of our city and country and the journeys that shaped our history," commented Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, chief executive of Cape Town Tourism.
"The Diamond Museum will give visitors and citizens a first-hand experience of South Africa's significant contribution to the international diamond industry."
The museum features a number of authentic artefacts that tell the story of diamonds and South Africa's diamond trade.
It tracks the entire journey of diamonds - from the mine to jewellery stores, explaining how they were shaped deep beneath the earth billions of years ago as well as how they are cut and polished.
Visitors can see exact replicas of some of the world's most famous diamonds such as the Cullinan, the Hope and the Taylor Burton.
Cape Town already boasts a wealth of culture, spectacular scenery and historical sites which make it a great destination for anyone on an overland adventure in Africa.
Highlights of a visit to the city include tours of Robben Island - the prison which held Nelson Mandela among many other political activists during the apartheid era.