Miners from the Distrito Diamantino washing the alluvial soil rich in
gold and diamonds, in a watercolor print from the book Familiar Lessons
on Mineralogy and Geology, by John Mawe, published in London in 1821,
and belonging to the collection of Carlos Alberto Barroso Fernandes.
Reproduction by Marcelo Lerner.
Mawe, a mineralogist and collector, wrote about his adventures in the
region of Vila do Príncipe, current Serro, where he acquired gold
samples in 1809: “They found in the washings, at a distance of six
leagues, a gold nugget weighing several pounds. I obtained, at the same
place, nuggets of more than two ounces, as well as huge crystals, which
I still have in my possession, one of which is considered unique.”