More About Jewels,
Jewellery & Julia

The jewellery article archive


More About
Jewels, Jewellery
& Julia

The jewellery article archive

A Real Life Indiana Jones

My story simply wouldn’t have begun without the influence of the man in this picture.

This is my Grandpa (Oupa in Afrikaans), Willem Schneider, who was a real-life Indiana Jones and a huge influence in my life – nurturing my passion for gemstones.

Oupa Willem was an accomplished pilot, adventurer, and diamond miner (and who always seemed to have a boiled sweet in his shirt pocket for me!).

This is a photo of Oupa sorting rough diamonds at his mine. It’s how I’ll always remember him.

Behind every strong man is an even stronger woman.

Here, Oupa proudly stands with his wife, Lily, who remained the matriarch of my family until her passing in 2021.

An accomplished pilot, Oupa loved being behind the joystick of his plane – whether flying to his diamond mine or crop-dusting for the local farmers. Oupa welcomed any excuse to take to the air.

Following the death of my grandfather, my uncle and cousins continued diamond mining in South Africa and neighbouring Botswana, a family profession that continues to this day.

The proudest moment in my life came when my grandmother presented my grandfather’s diamond scale to me – entrusting this essential field tool to the next generation of gemstone hunters.

This is my favourite photograph of my beloved Oupa – his big, strong arms holding a young girl he used to call his “little rough diamond”.

Although I’ll never feel those strong arms around me again, I hope that somehow he can see the incredible journey he has inspired me to take – and with that familiar twinkle in his eye realise his “little rough diamond” is slowly becoming slightly more polished on life’s lapidary wheel.

Ek mis jou Oupa