The first South African diamond, the Eureka, was found in Hopetown in 1867.

The first South African diamond, the Eureka, was found in Hopetown in 1867.

The Eureka Stone-It is not known if van Niekerk new he was selling a diamond, but O'Reilly certainly knew he was buying one.  He showed the stone to several gem-dealers in Hopetown who said it was not a diamond but a 'topaz' and had no value.  O'Reilly took the stone to Grahamstown where he showed it to geologist Dr. William Guybon Atherstone for his expert opinion.  It was Dr. Atherstone who identified this as the first diamond to be found in South Africa and told O'Reilly it was worth…

The Eureka Stone-It is not known if van Niekerk new he was selling a diamond, but O'Reilly certainly knew he was buying one. He showed the stone to several gem-dealers in Hopetown who said it was not a diamond but a 'topaz' and had no value. O'Reilly took the stone to Grahamstown where he showed it to geologist Dr. William Guybon Atherstone for his expert opinion. It was Dr. Atherstone who identified this as the first diamond to be found in South Africa and told O'Reilly it was worth…

The Star of South Africa, a 47.69-carat old style pear-shaped diamond, was cut from a crystal of 83.50 carats, and is credited with being the diamond that turned the tides of fortune in South Africa. In 1869, it was picked up by a Griqua shepherd boy on the Zandfontein Farm near the Orange River. Schalk van Niekerk, who three years earlier had had a stroke of luck with a "pebble" that proved to be a 21.25-carat diamond (the Eureka Diamond).

The Star of South Africa, a 47.69-carat old style pear-shaped diamond, was cut from a crystal of 83.50 carats, and is credited with being the diamond that turned the tides of fortune in South Africa. In 1869, it was picked up by a Griqua shepherd boy on the Zandfontein Farm near the Orange River. Schalk van Niekerk, who three years earlier had had a stroke of luck with a "pebble" that proved to be a 21.25-carat diamond (the Eureka Diamond).

October 13, 1867: Erasmus Jacobs, fifteen, discovers what he calls a “pretty pebble” on a bank of the Orange River near Hopetown, South Africa. The “pretty pebble” is later to be revealed as a 21.25-carat gem that is called the Eureka Diamond (above).

October 13, 1867: Erasmus Jacobs, fifteen, discovers what he calls a “pretty pebble” on a bank of the Orange River near Hopetown, South Africa. The “pretty pebble” is later to be revealed as a 21.25-carat gem that is called the Eureka Diamond (above).

The Eureka diamond was the first diamond discovered in South Africa and weighed 21.25 carats as a rough diamond. In 1866, Erasmus Jacobs, .De Beers Archives..

The Eureka diamond was the first diamond discovered in South Africa and weighed 21.25 carats as a rough diamond. In 1866, Erasmus Jacobs, .De Beers Archives..

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