Diamond Mines - The Wesselton
( Originally Published 1911 )
The Wesselton, or Premier, as it was first called, takes its name from J. J. Wessels, Sen., the owner of the Benaaudheidfontein farm, on which it was discovered, in September, 1890. It is situated about one mile south of the Dutoitspan, in Cape Colony, on the border of the Orange River Colony; formerly, the Orange Free State. In extent it is equal to 1162 claims, equal to about 24 acres. The De Beers Consolidated Mines bought the property in December, 1891, subject to certain mining rights, and assumed control of the mine in January, 1896. Since that time it has proved a valuable addition to the De Beers and the Syndicate. Although the yield per load has always been moderate, it runs very even, and the output has been large in the aggregate. The quality of the diamonds also is exceptionally good, and when free from flaws, they are rated almost equal to white river-goods.
By 1903, the management was operating on seven levels down to 500 feet, the two upper ones open work, the others underground. It was estimated at that time there were 17,730,000 loads of blue in sight.
Two diamonds weighing and 21 carats respectively, of a form, rarely found in the African fields, were taken from this mine. They were cubes with beveled edges similar to many of the Brazilian crystals.
The name "Wesselton " is now given to clean, well-made cut diamonds, with a quality rating between top crystal and Jagers.