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Aug 7th, 2013


This yellow rock weighing around 325 carat was found in the Nooitgedacht diggings near Kimberley in the Cape Province (now Northern Cape Province), South Africa in 1953. The stone was picked up by a laborer working for a poor digger name Christoffel Boer, who had dug the same spot for 22 years without any success. It was sold for $38,000 and the laborer was rewarded a sum of $840. Boer split the rest with the grubstaker (the individual who provided the supplier to Boer on the condition that he has a stake in any finds).

Since 1869 the various gravels along the Vaal River were being worked intensively for their content of high-grade alluvial diamonds. The Nooitgedacht diggings were opened in 1949 and closed in 1981. During these 32 years, a total of 80,000 diamonds were found of which the Venter Diamond, a 511 carat yellow stone, was the largest.

The standard size of a digger’s claim was 15 x 15 metres. The diamond-bearing gravels, covered by a layer of sterile red sand, were washed by hand in simple rotary pans. The left-over concentrate of heavy material was then carefully sorted for diamonds.

The search for diamonds continues along the Vaal River between Windsorton, Barkly West and Delportshoop. Some small-scale diggers still use pick and shovel, but diggers using heavy earth-moving equipment obtain better returns.

As a side-note, in the Battle of Nooitgedacht on 13 December 1900, Boer commandos led by Generals Koos de la Rey and Christiaan Beyers combined to deal a defeat to a British brigade under the command of Major General R. A. P. Clements during the Second Boer War.


Its current disposition is unknown.



McGregor Museum

Notable Diamonds of the World


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