In 1866 Erasmus Jacobs found a small white pebble on the banks of the Orange River. The pebble turned out to be a 21.25 carat (4.25 g) diamond.
In 1871, an even larger 83.50 carat (16.7 g) diamond was found on the slopes of Colesberg Kopje by a certain Fleetwood Rawstorne and led to the first diamond rush into the area. As miners arrived in their thousands, the hill disappeared, and became known as the Big Hole. A town was formed in 1873 and it was renamed Kimberley.