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The Porges/DeBeers Connection –
Diamonds are Forever

Yehuda Porges was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, settled in Paris, France in the 1860s and changed his name to Jules. Having learned the diamond trade from his father who was a master jeweler, he created Jules Porges & Co. and developed it into the greatest and wealthiest diamond firm in the world.
 
Foreseeing the diamond opportunity in South Africa, he moved to Kimberley and immediately became a major figure in the local gem market as well as in the buying and selling of diggers' claims. One of his companies, Compagnie Franחaise de Diamant du Cap de Bonne Espérance, paid large dividends until he persuaded the French shareholders to sell out to the new De Beers combine, which has become synonymous with diamonds.
 
Jules was also the founder of the famous mining and financial group known as the 'Corner House' at Market Square, Johannesburg. He built the castle Chateau of Rochefort en Yvelines, in the Paris neighborhood, for his wife and his daughter. It housed Jules’ art collection. In 1962, jeweler Harry Winston of Beverly Hills, California purchased a fancy yellow diamond weighing 78.53 carats and named it The Porges Diamond as a tribute to the French diamond mining pioneer.
 

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