In 1870 diamonds were found on Jagersfontein farm and prospectors rushed to the area.
The farmhouse was bought by the government as an office. In front of the office was a unique gaol, a eucalyptus tree trunk to which prisoners were tied.
Some magnificent diamonds have been found at Jagersfontein, ranging from blue-white to sapphire gemstones of superb quality. The Excelsior stone, found in 1893, weighed 971 carats and, until the Cullinan Diamond was found near Pretoria in 1905, was the largest in the world.
Al Capone the gangster liked to display a large Jagersfontein diamond, and many famous beauties have dazzled admirers with a flash and twinkle from this part of the western Free State.
Jagersfontein became a municipality in 1904. It lies in an attractive valley set amid hills. Diamond mining is the life-blood of the town.
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