29 JANUARY 1910, Page 49


Diamonds. By Sir William Crookes. (Harper and Brothers. 2s. 6d. net.)—Sir William Crookes spent a month at Kimberley in 1896, and saw all that the managers of the De Beers and other mine 3 could show him. On his return to England he gave lectures on the subject. When the British Association met in South Africa in 1905 he gave one of the lectures, taking the diamond for his subject. On these utterances the volume before us, one of the "Library of Living Thought," is founded. It tells us how diamonds are found, or not found, for it is a very speculative business, what they look like, what they are worth,—the drift diamonds are more valuable than those from the mines. It is a great industry. Twenty-two million pounds have been paid in dividends to the shareholders of the De Beers group of mines, and the native labourers, who get 4s. to 5s. a day for underground work, and 6d. a carat for any stones they find, are well paid. But the speciality of Sir William Crookes's little volume is in chaps. 9-10. Learning how Nature makes the diamond, man is able to make it himself. Scarcely less interesting is that which follows on "Meteoric Diamonds." Arizona is the place where these are to be found in the fragments of a long past meteoric shower. They are very curious, but they, are very small, and it would not be worth while to go to Arizona to collect them.