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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Eugenie Blue diamond. Believed to have been owned by Empress Euge'nie, this 31-carat heart-shaped diamond now resides at the Smith­sonian Institution. It was purchased from Harry Winston by Mrs. Mer-riweather Post of New York, who subsequently donated it to the Smith­sonian.

Eugenie Diamond. See empress euge'nie diamond.

Eureka Diamond. The Eureka has the distinction of being the first major diamond found in South africa; its

name, therefore, is most appropriate. A small boy, Erasmus Jacobs, the son of a Boer widow, picked up some pretty stones in 1867 on the banks of the Orange River and carried them home to his sister, Louisa. She used them to play a game called "five stones." A neighboring farmer, Schalk van Niekerk, was attracted by one of the "pebbles" and asked the widow if she would sell it. He even­tually entrusted the 21.25-carat stone to a traveling trader, John O'Reilly, who showed it to Lorenzo Boyes, Civil Commissioner of the town of Colesburg. Later, he took it to Grahamstown, where Dr. W. G. Atherstone, a geologist, identified it as a diamond worth £500. Sir Philip Wodehouse, Governor of Cape Pro­vince, purchased the gem at this price. It was shown at the Paris Ex­position of 1867-68 and attracted at­tention to South Africa in general and to the Cape in particular. In its cut form (a 10.73-carat brilliant), the Eureka was owned for many years by an Englishman, Peter Locan. It is known as the O'Reilly Diamond in South Africa. This historically impor­tant stone was exhibited in 1959 at the Ageless Diamond Exhibition in London. De Beers Consolidated Mines purchased the stone and pre­sented it to the Parliament of South Africa in Capetown in 1966. See

O'REILLY DIAMOND.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 September 2007 )
 
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