Ernest Oppenheimer was born in Germany in 1880. He began his working life at 17, when he entered Dunkelsbuhler & Company, a diamond brokerage based in London and owned by his uncle, Anton Dunkelsbuhler. In 1902, at the age of 22, Oppenheimer was sent to South Africa to represent Dunkelsbuhler as a buyer in Kimberley. In 1917, Oppenheimer founded Anglo American, a gold mining corporation. Within a few years Anglo American had absorbed De Beers Consolidated, South Africa’s diamond monopoly. Anglo American was established as a giant conglomerate, and the Oppenheimer dynasty was born.