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Created on Jun 28, 2005.

The Juhu Diamond Rush

The Juhu diamond rush begun on Friday, June 24, 2005, when people claimed to have found diamonds in the sand. Crowds of fortune hunters turned into hordes as rumours spread. People descended on the beach with shovels and sieves— diligent workers replacing the usual crowds of weekenders enjoying the monsoon. On Monday, June 27 one person had died in the incoming tide, but there was no let up in the numbers of people looking for "quick" money.

People who found polished diamonds were reportedly selling them to buyers further up the beach for anywhere up to Rs. 100 a piece. Sub-inspector of police, Ingavle, claimed that the "gems" were examined by a jeweller and found to be fake. Other spokesmen also claimed that the reported finds were not of diamonds.

There was no agreement on what the finds were. There was speculation that the stones could be from Ganapati idols which are immersed in the sea at Juhu every year. As the decorated idols slowly weather by wave action, pieces of glass and plastic from the decoration are thrown on the beach, where they may be mistaken for diamonds. A rival theory held that the "diamonds" are jetsam from ships.