Hopetown located in the Northern Cape, has a very interesting history. Hopetown were founded in the 1850, as a northern frontier town, by Sir Harry Smith and populated by a few settlers who claimed land at a natural ford over the Orange River.
The first diamond that was discovered in South Africa was found in Hopetown. A 15 year old boy Erasmus Jacobus were found playing with a stone by a neighbor Schalk van Niekerk that suspected it could be a diamond. It was the 23.25 carat EUREKA.
Soon after the discovery of the Eureka the 83.5 carat Star of Africa was found nearby. It was the discovery of the second diamond which started the South African Diamond Rush. The diamond was so amazing it was presented to Queen Victoria. 100 Years after its initial discovery, the diamond was purchased and donated back to the South African people.
Hopetown suddenly lived up to its name. Fortune hunters poured down the diamond way and into the little village. They did not simply stop there as it seemed almost every day new finds were happening resulting in a tremendous diamond fever. The trail led steadily northwards and ended at Colesburg koppie in Kimberly.