(CNN) More than 1,000 fortune seekers on Monday flocked to the village of KwaHlathi in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province in search of what they believed to be diamonds after a discovery of unidentified stones in the area.
The people traveled from across South Africa to join villagers who have been digging since Saturday, after a herd man who dug up the first stone on an open field, which some believe to be quartz crystals, put out the word.
The discovery was a life changer, said one digger Mendo Sabelo as he held a handful of tiny stones.
“This means our lives will change because no one had a proper job, I do odd jobs. When I returned home with them, (the family was) really overjoyed,” said the 27-year-old father of two.
Unemployed Skhumbuzo Mbhele concurred, adding: “I hadn’t seen or touched a diamond in my life. It’s my first time touching it here.”