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Stories about Famous Precious Stones   By:

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STORIES ABOUT FAMOUS PRECIOUS STONES

BY MRS. GODDARD ORPEN

ILLUSTRATED

BOSTON D LOTHROP COMPANY WASHINGTON STREET OPPOSITE BROMFIELD

COPYRIGHT, 1890, BY D. LOTHROP COMPANY.

CONTENTS.

I. THE REGENT 9

II. THE ORLOFF 37

III. LA PELEGRINA 59

IV. THE KOH I NUR 79

V. THE FRENCH BLUE 111

VI. THE BRAGANZA 131

VII. THE BLACK PRINCE'S RUBY 149

VIII. THE SANCI 177

IX. THE GREAT MOGUL 198

X. THE AUSTRIAN YELLOW 218

XI. A FAMOUS NECKLACE 238

XII. THE TARA BROOCH AND THE SHRINE OF ST. PATRICK'S BELL 262

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Page. The Regent 14 The Orloff 40 The Koh i Nur 83 Koh i Nur, as recut 95 Tavernier's Blue Diamond 118 The "Hope Blue" Diamond 119 "Brunswick" Blue Diamond 123 "Hope Blue" Diamond, as mounted 126 The Crown of England 171 The Sanci 183 The Great Mogul 209 The Austrian Yellow 220 Diamond in the rough 229 Diamond after cutting 232 "The Necklace of History" 243 The Tara Brooch 265 St. Patrick's Bell 279

STORIES ABOUT

FAMOUS PRECIOUS STONES

I.

THE REGENT.

Of all the gems which have served to adorn a crown or deck a beauty the Regent has perhaps had the most remarkable career. Bought, sold, stolen and lost, it has passed through many hands, always however leaving some mark of its passage, so that the historian can follow its devious course with some certainty. From its extraordinary size it has been impossible to confound it with any other diamond in the world; hence the absence of those conflicting statements with regard to it which puzzle one at every turn in the cases of certain other historical jewels.

The first authentic appearance of this diamond in history was in December, 1701. In that month it was offered for sale by a diamond merchant named Jamchund to the Governor of Fort St. George near Madras, Mr. Thomas Pitt, the grandfather of the great Earl of Chatham.

Although, as we shall see later on, the diamond came fairly into the hands of Mr. Pitt, it had already a taint of blood upon it. I allude to the nebulous and gloomy story that has drifted down to us along with this sparkling gem. How far the story is true it is now impossible to ascertain. The Regent itself alone could throw any light upon the subject, and that, notwithstanding its myriad rays, it refuses to do.

Tradition says the stone was found by a slave at Partreal, a hundred and fifty miles south of Golconda. The native princes who worked these diamond mines were very particular to see that all the large gems should be reserved to deck their own swarthy persons; hence there were most stringent regulations for the detection of theft. No person who was not above suspicion and who indeed was ever above the suspicion of an absolute Asiatic prince? might leave the mines without being thoroughly examined, inside and out, by means of purgatives, emetics and the like. Notwithstanding all these precautions however, the Regent was concealed in a wound made in the calf of the leg of a slave. The inspectors, I suppose, did not probe the wound deeply enough, for the slave got away safely with his prize and reached Madras... Continue reading book >>




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