The Star of South Africa
Also known as the Dudley Diamond, the Star of South Africa is a 47.69 carat white diamond originally found by a shepherd boy on the banks of the Orange River.
Before cutting the stone it weighed an astonishing 83.5 carats. The discovery of this diamond spurred on a “diamond-rush” by prospectors.
The shepherd boy sold the uncut diamond for 500 sheep, 10 oxen, and a horse to a neighboring farmer named Schalk van Niekerk.
Van Niekerk then sold the stone to the Lilienfield Brothers in Hopetown, South Africa for $14,500. The Star of South Africa changed hands several times over the next 100 years.
It appeared once again in 1974 at auction in Geneva, where it sold for 1.6 million Swiss Francs (roughly $2,741,016 USD today). It was last seen in 2006 at the National History Museum of London. As of today a reproduction of the uncut diamond sits on display.