Famous People

Discover the famous people in the South African diamond industry both past and present who are largely responsible for putting South Africa on the map.
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Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs (1851 - 1933), a young of 15 years old disovered a clear rock on his family's farm in Kimberley. The stone turned out to be a diamond and is credited as the first diamond discovery in South Africa. The diamond was named the Eureka weighing 21.25ct and lead to the great Kimberley Diamond Rush.

DIAMOND FACT 25 The first discovered in was in 1867 by a 15 year old boy Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs. When identified as a diamond, it was named The Eureka

Johannes Nicolaas De Beer (1830 - 1894), a Dutch settler bought a farm in Kimberley on 1871 and together with his brother Diederik Arnoldus De Beer soon discovered diamonds on their ground. Pressured by the demand for diamonds, they sold their land.

Johannes Nicolaas De Beer - a Dutch settler bought a farm in Kimberley on 1871 and together with his brother Diederik Arnoldus De Beer soon discovered diamonds on their ground. Pressured by the demand for diamonds, they sold their land.

Barney Barnato (1852 - 1897) arrived in South Africa from England at the age of 20. He was penniless, but within 10 years he was a millionaire.

Barney Barnato - arrived in South Africa from England at the age of He was penniless, but within 10 years he was a millionaire.

Cecil John Rhodes (1853 - 1902) was sent to South Africa shortly after finishing school in England. In Kimberley he purcgased a number of diamond claims and formed De Beers Consolidated Mines.

Cecil John Rhodes - was sent to South Africa shortly after finishing school in England. In Kimberley he purcgased a number of diamond claims and formed De Beers Consolidated Mines. My ancestor.

Thomas Cullinan (1862 – 1936), prospector and entrepeneur, established the Premier (Transvaal) Diamond Mining Company in Kimberley, South Africa. It was then the largest diamond mine in the world yielding many of the world's most fanous diamonds including the Cullinan rough weighing 3,106ct.

Learn more of the famous people in the South African diamond industry, past and present including Cecil John Rhodes and the Oppenheimer family.

Sir Ernest Oppenheimer (1880 – 1957) was a German-born industrialist, financier, and one of the most successful leaders in the mining industry of South Africa and Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe). In 1917 Sir Ernest founded the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa, later adding De Beers and effectively ruling the world commerce in diamonds and minerals both precious and strategic.

Learn more of the famous people in the South African diamond industry, past and present including Cecil John Rhodes and the Oppenheimer family.

Harry Oppenheimer (1908-2000) was born in Kimberley, South Africa and groomed from an early age to succeed his father Sir Ernest Oppenheimer as head of Anglo-DeBeers.

Harry Oppenheimer was born in Kimberley, South Africa and groomed from an early age to succeed his father Sir Ernest Oppenheimer as head of Anglo-DeBeers. Mum & Dad had lunch with them in Joburg on at least one occasion.


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