|In 1725 diamonds were found by placer gold miners in the Abaete and Jequitinhonha Tijuco rivers region of Minas Gerais, Brazil.|
The discovery effectively ended India’s 2,600-year diamond monopoly. By the 1740s, the Portuguese government allowed a few plantation owners to work the land for diamonds using slave labor.
|In the second half of the 18th century, more diamond discoveries extended Brazil's diamond fields from Diamantia (formerly Tejuco, where the stones were first found) to Bahia in the north, Goyaz in the west, and Matto Grasso in the jungle. In 1818, Brazil's total diamond production stood at 3,240,000 carats. |
With independence in 1822 anyone who could afford to pay taxes was allowed to mine for diamonds.