Given all the minerals lying beneath South African surfaces, surely you’ve wondered at least once whether your own backyard was a hidden gold mine – no? Just us? Well, apparently we’re not alone. Thousands of residents in KwaZulu-Natal’s KwaHlathi region flocked to a field after something shiny was spotted in the ground. It was thought to
be a diamond, so locals began digging and many found shiny rocks, assuming their fortunes had changed forever. But to their dismay (honestly, ours too) scientists confirmed that the shiny rocks were quartz, not diamonds. Quartz are basically crystals: they have no monetary value but are sometimes considered to have healing properties. It may have been a glimmer of hope for the population of nearly 300 000 people, where jobs are scarce and poverty is rife, but sometimes all that glitters is not gold… or diamonds.