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The Eureka Diamond

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The Eureka Diamond - from De Beers Archives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Eureka Diamond – from De Beers Archives

The Eureka Diamond, weighing 21.25ct in the rough and 10.73 ct when finally cut, had numerous internal flaws.  It is not by ordinary standards exceptional but it was the first diamond to be discovered by pure accident in South Africa in 1867 and therefore has historical significance.

In 1866 a shepherd boy found a small, shiny stone on the south bank of the Orange River near Hopetown. The pebble was kept for a while by a 15-year-old boy named Erasmus Jacobs, who later gave it to his neighbor, farmer Schalk van Niekerk, a collector of unusual stones.

Van Niekerk entrusted the pebble to John O’Reilly, a traveling peddler, who sent it, in an unsealed envelope, to Dr W.G. Atherstone of Grahamstown, one of the few people in the Cape Colony who knew something about minerals and gems. Dr Atherstone identified it as a 21.25-carat brownish yellow diamond. It was later sold for £500 to Sir Phillip Wodehouse, the Governor of the Cape Colony.

In 1870 Sir Philip returned to the UK, and there the Eureka was to remain for almost 100 years. It was cut and, over the course of almost a century, changed hands a number of times.

It remained in a private collection until, in 1967, exactly 100 years after its discovery, De Beers purchased the Eureka, gifting it to the people of South Africa.

 

The Eureka was placed on permanent loan by the South African government at the Mine Museum, Kimberley – a fitting venue to display the gemstone that established South Africa as one of the world’s richest resources of diamonds.

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I am a Graduate Gemologist trained at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City, USA. I hold an MBA degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics. My earlier profession was a banker until I found jade in Myanmar (Burma) in the early 90s. I have traveled to the fabled Hpakan Jade mines, and Mogok, the world’s famous rubies and sapphires mines in upper Burma, with my second son. Three of my children are also Graduate Gemologist, GIA, NYC and they deal in diamonds, gemstones and jade. 我是在美国纽约市的美国宝石学院(GIA)接受过培训的宝石研究学家。 我拥有英国克兰菲尔德大学的工商管理硕士学位和数学学士学位。我以前的职业是银行家,直到90年代初我在缅甸接触到玉石。我曾经和我的次子一起去过缅甸上流传说中的哈帕翡翠矿山和莫谷矿山, 莫谷矿山是世界上著名的红宝石和蓝宝石矿山。我的三个孩子都是纽约市GIA毕业的宝石研究学家, 他们专门处理钻石,宝石和玉石.

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