parcel, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English.
1. Diamond-trade. A packet of diamonds of mixed sizes and qualities, offered for sale together.
1902 G.F. Williams Diamond Mines S. Afr. 51The daily productions of diamonds are put away in parcels until there is an accumulation of about 50,000 carats of De Beers and Kimberley diamonds.
1911 L. Cohen Reminisc. of Kimberley 69I call to mind a Dutchman coming to his office with a mixed lot of stones to sell, that is to say in the parcel, as they called it, there were some diamonds worth ten shillings per carat, others perhaps three pounds or probably ten pounds.
1920 F.C. Cornell Glamour of Prospecting 63I found this little ‘parcel’ to consist of an almost complete assortment of various minerals usually found in or associated with diamondiferous ‘blue ground’ — or Kimberlite.
1931 G. Beet Grand Old Days 148Should a digger have a ‘parcel’ to dispose of without delay, he knew that by going straight ot Robinson’s office he would receive the immediate and courteous attention of the principal.
1957 C. Birkby Airman Lost in Afr. 28Somehow a little yellow tobacco bag seemed to be the badge of the trade: uncut stones were always kept in one and the I.D.B. fellows called the little bag a ‘parcel’.
1967 E. Rosenthal Encycl. of Sn Afr. 150‘Parcels’ are made up of clearly defined groups of diamonds.
1973 A. Hocking Oppenheimer & Son 30Once the stones were sorted, the staff..gathered them in ‘parcels’.., a fixed quota of stones of different sizes, qualities and colours in each.
1987 S. Afr. Panorama Mar. 46They never found the precious parcel and it was only made known long after where the diamonds had been hidden — on top of a cupboard in the room which the two detectives had occupied during their stay.
1988 K. Sutton in E. Prov. Herald 5 Mar. 7A diamond rush was under way on the commonage at Bloemhof, and a digger named Steyn had found a flawless 25 carat stone...Other nice parcels had been found.
2. slang. dagga noun2 sense 1.
1952 [see boom sense 1].
A packet of diamonds of mixed sizes and qualities, offered for sale together.
dagganoun1.

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19021988