THE history of some of the world’s celebrated diamonds is founded entirely upon tradition. Eliminate the records in which authorities differ, and the stories which are alike attached by one writer to one stone, and by another to some other stone, and there is little left. Some stones mentioned in old writings have passed out of knowledge : others known to-day cannot be traced back very far with certainty : a point is soon reached where the contradictory accounts given, or the similitude of the story to that attached to another, awaken suspicion. Historians usually insist that the great diamonds of the past served in the beginning of their history as eyes for an idol from which they were plucked by some knave or looter, and started on similar courses of adventures until they arrived at the hands of definite knowledge.
The most ancient and celebrated Indian diamond is known as the Great Mogul. The stone, so named after the Mogul dynasty in. India, is said to have been found in the mines of Kollur of India, sometimes spoken of by the Persian name Gani Coulour or Colore, or Gan-imine of, Coulour, between 1630 and 1650, and presented to Shah Jehan by Emir Jemla (called ” Mirgimola” by Tavernier), about 1655. Another tradition is that a diamond of 320 ratis or 280 carats, was owned by Babur, founder of the Mogul dynasty, and was known and celebrated of old in India before his time (1556). The English mineralogist Maskelyne thought it probable that this was the stone seen by Tavernier at Delhi in 1665 and which he described as the Great Mogul, and that the same is now known as the Koh-inoor. Hindu tradition says of this stone that it was worn by one of the heroes of the Indian epic poem Mahabharata, four thousand years back, and that it was in the possession of Vikramaditya, rajah of Ujayin, 56 B. C., through whom it passed to his successors, the rajahs of Malwa and to the sultans of Delhi, when Malwa fell into their hands. In 1658, Aurungzebe, third son of Shah Jehan, seized the reins of government, placed his father in confinement and possessed his treasures, the ” Great Mogul” among them. In the rough, as it was when presented to Shah Jehan, Tavernier says it weighed 900 ratis or 787 carats. The Mogul employed a Venetian named Hortensis Borghis to cut it. This he did so unskillfully as to reduce the weight to 319% ratis or 28o carats. Some writers dis-pute Tavernier’s equivalent of / carat to one rati, claiming that the rati was lighter and that the cut stone weighed 188 carats only. Instead of rewarding the cutter for his work, the Mogul, angered, charged him with spoiling the stone and threatened to kill him, but finally let him off with a fine of ten thousand rupees. According to Tavernier, from whom comes to us all the definite information we have about it, the stone in the rough had several flaws, and was cut to a round rose, very high on one side, and now thought to be almost identical in shape with the Orloff of the Russian Crown jewels. In another place Tavernier gives the original rough weight at 967 ratis or 793 5/8 carats, and when cut, as he saw it, 319/, ratis or 2799/16 carats, and the form of it that of an egg cut in half. The finished stone had a crack or notch in the lower edge, and a little flaw within. The French jeweler saw it at the palace of the king in Delhi on the second of November, 1665. Summoned by 5 or 6 officers to appear at the palace, he was conducted into the royal presence. The chief keeper of jewels, Akel Khan, then at the king’s command, ordered four eunuchs to bring the jewels for his inspection. The ” Great Mogul,” he found to be of good water, and he estimated the value to be in the neighborhood of twelve million francs. Western knowledge of the stone ceases at this point. Many theories have been advanced, but none of them are founded upon evidence sufficient to give reasonable certainty of its present existence. Some think that it is in the possession of one of the Hindu princes; others surmise that it is among the crown jewels of Persia; many think it is identical with the Orloff, or the Koh-inoor.
Another large stone mentioned by Tavernier which has been lost to general knowledge, is recorded as ” The Great Diamond Table.” Tavernier saw it in Golconda in 1642, and said it was the largest he saw in private hands while in India. It was offered for sale to him for 500,000 rupees or 750,000 livres. He took a casting of it, and sent that to two friends at Surat, who commissioned him to offer 400,000 rupees for it if the stone was clean and of fine water. The offer was refused, and nothing further is known of it. The weight as given by Tavernier was 176 1/8 mangelins or 2423 carats. The mangelin was a weight used in the Kingdom of Golconda and Visapur, and equaled 1 3/8 carats. As his instructions to make an offer for it, were on the condition that the stone was flawless and of good color, and he did make the offer, it was probably a fine stone.
The Orloff or Orlow, so named because purchased by Prince or Count Orlow for Empress Catherine II, is the most renowned of the crown jewels of Russia. It is now the chief ornament of the imperial scepter, being placed immediately under the golden eagle and is there-fore sometimes called the ” Scepter.” The weight is given as 193 carats by Louis Dieulefait; Max Bauer says 1943 carats. Prof. Maskelyne, who carefully examined it, was of the decided opinion that it was an Indian cut stone, being rose-faceted after the Hindu fashion. It is about the size of a pigeon’s egg, has the form of half an egg, and has a slightly yellow tinge, Maskelyne says. Bauer says nothing of the color but describes it as of the finest water, greatest luster and perfectly clean. Some writers say it is the ” Koh-i-Tur,” or ” Mount Sinai,” which was one of the eyes of the peacock over the Takt-i-Taus or Peacock Throne of Aurungzebe, and that the Koh-i-noor was the other eye. Other writers claim that it was one of the eyes of a statue of Brahma in a temple on the fortified (Engl.) Island of Seringham which is formed by the junction of the river Cavery in Maysur (Mysore) with its branch the Colerine, and is in the neighborhood of Trichinopolis. As the story goes, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, a soldier of the French garrison in India plotted to rob the idol of his precious eyes. Preending great zeal in seeking a knowledge of the Hindu religion, he succeeded in gaining the confidence of the priests in charge, and though the temple with its lofty towers, gilded cupola, pagoda, seven enclosures, and Brahrnan dwellings, was jealously guarded, and surrounded by a wall four miles in circumference, he se-cured one of the stones, and, eluding the vigilant guardians of the temple, fled with it to Madras. The other eye he could not force from the socket. Arrived there, he is said to have sold it for £2,000 to a captain in the British navy (some say an English sea captain), who carried it to London and sold it to a Jewish merchant for £12,000. This is said to have occurred at the commencement of the eighteenth century. Nothing more is recorded of this diamond, but in the latter part of the century, a similar stone was sold to Count Orloff for the Empress Catherine of Russia for 1,400,000 Dutch gulden, or about $560,000. Bauer gives the date of the sale as 1791, and in common with other writers assumes it to be the same stone. Streeter gives the following from Boyle in Museum Britanicum (London, 1791), who quotes from a letter from the Hague under date of January 2, 1776. ” We learn from Amsterdam that Prince. Orlow made but one day stay in that city, where be bought a very large brilliant for the Empress, his sovereign, for which he paid to a Persian merchant there, the sum of 1,400,000 florins Dutch money.” As Orloff was Catherine’s lover at the time she became Em-press in 1762, and Potemkin, who became her favorite in 1765, did not lose a controlling influence over her until he died in 1791, it is possible that the purchase of what is known as the Orloff diamond occurred in 1775, according to the letter of January 2, 1776, quoted by Boyle. Orloff may, however, have consummated both purchases. There appears to be no positive evidence as to which of the two large stones purchased by Russia in 1775 and 1791 was the Orloff, or to which of them the story of the French soldier rightfully belongs. The early history of these stones is so beclouded by the inventions of thievery and knavery that very little said about them is reliable.
Since then, writers have confused the early histories of these two large stones of the Russian crown jewels, confounding the weights, prices, and stories connected with them, beyond disentanglement. The other stone is said to weigh 120 carats and to be also now among the Russian crown jewels. It was known as the ” Moon of the Mountain,” and was taken with other loot from Delhi by Nadir Shah. At his murder, this diamond with other jewels was stolen by an Afghan soldier, and sold by him to an Armenian merchant, Shaffras. It is said to have been one of two large stones which ornamented Nadir’s throne. One circumstantial account says that the Afghan took it with other jewels to Bassorah, a large town on the Shatt-al-Arab, 70 miles from its mouth in the Persian Gulf, where he offered them for sale to Shaffras, who resided there with two brothers. Shaffras put him off until he could raise the money with which to buy them. This frightened the Afghan, who fled to Bagdad and sold them there for sixty-five thou-sand piasters (1500), and began a debauch. Shaffras came to Bagdad, and finding the jewels sold, tried un-successfully to buy the big diamond of the Jew who had it. He and his brother thereupon murdered the Jew and the Afghan, and putting them in a sack, at night threw them into the Tigris. In a dispute over a division of the booty, Shaffras slew his brother and disposed of him in a similar manner. He then went to Constantinople, and from there traveled through Europe. Catherine II invited him to bring the diamond to Russia, and he was placed in communication with M. Lasaroff, the crown jeweler, who offered an annuity of ten thou-sand roubles and a patent of nobility. This he refused and asked six hundred thousand roubles cash for it. No sale was made at that time, and ten years later, the Russian Court, learning that he was in Astrakhan, reopened negotiations and a sale was made on the original terms.
Another account published in London, 1812, of ” Travels through the southern provinces of the Russian Empire in 1793-4,” by P. S. Pallas, says that the traveler during a residence in Astrakhan became acquainted with the heirs of Gregori Safarov Shaffras, who sold the diamond now in the Russian scepter. They told a similar story about the stolen jewels, but said that Shaffras followed the Afghan chief to Bagdad, and bought them direct from him for fifty thousand piasters. After twelve years, Gregori, with the consent of his brother, carried the diamond on his travels west as described, and the Russian Court invited him to bring the diamond to Russia for inspection. Count Panin, the Russian Minister, he who was tutor of Catherine’s son Paul and assisted in the overthrow of her husband Peter, offered him five hundred thousand roubles, one-fifth on demand and the balance by regular installments during ten years, a patent of hereditary nobility, and a pension of six thousand roubles. As Shaffras demanded patents for his brothers also, the diamond was returned to him. He absconded to Astrakhan, but later reopened negotiations with Count Gregori Gregorivitch Orloff, and sold it for four hundred and fifty thousand roubles, of which one hundred and twenty thousand went for commissions and expenses, and a patent of nobility.
Bauer says this transaction occurred in 1775 and that the consideration was 450,000 roubles, a pension of 4,000 roubles and a patent of nobility.
Dieulafait says the stone was sent by Shaffras to his brother in Amsterdam who, after twelve years and long negotiations, sold it to Russia for $334,800 and a patent of nobility.
It is evident from these accounts that there is no certain knowledge about either of the transactions. Beyond the facts that Count Orloff bought a large diamond in Amsterdam in 1775 and that Shaffras sold a large diamond to Russia, the stories are open to question through-out.
All we really know about the Great Mogul is that Tavernier saw it in Delhi in 1665. Delhi was sacked in 1739 and the loot carried off by Nadir Shah, the Mogul probably being among it. In 1747 Nadir was assassinated, and a number of his large jewels were stolen by Afghans, who were his favored personal attendants. Some years later two large India cut stones appeared in Europe with confused histories of romance, one of them similar to Tavernier’s description of the Great Mogul, and were sold between 1775 and 1791 to the Russian Crown for large prices, the exact amount being un-known, though variously stated in definite figures. One of these is the Orloff, and the Orloff is probably the Great Mogul.
Linked by tradition with the Great Mogul and the Orloff, is the Koh-i-noor of the British Crown jewels. This is one of the diamonds taken from Delhi by Nadir Shah when he destroyed the Kingdom of the Mogul in 1739. It is said that Mohammed Shah, great-grandson of Aurung-zebe, wore it in his turban when Nadir took possession of the Mogul’s city, and that the latter with the polite insistence of a conqueror, compelled an ex-change of turbans as a mark of his friendly intentions toward the victim’s person. Later, Ahmed Shah, founder of the Abdali dynasty at Cabul, took it from Shahrikh, a young son of Nadir. It descended from him to Shah Shujah and was worn by him in the presence of Mr. Elphinstone while he was British envoy to the King of Kabul at Peshawar in 18o8. Shah Shujah, when driven from Kabul, became the guest and prisoner of Runjeet Singh, chief of the Sikhs, who in 1813 compelled him to resign the diamond, but in return presented him with a lakh and twenty-five thousand rupees, or about sixty thousand dollars. It is said that while Runjeet Singh lay dying, an attempt was made to have him present it to Jaganath. He assented by a nod, but the treasurer would not give it up on that, and Runjeet Singh died before a written order could be signed by him. It was worn by his successors, Rhurreuk Singh and Shir Singh. After the murder of Shir Singh, it remained in the Lahore treasury until the time of Dhulip Singh and the annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849. As per stipulation made then, the state property was confiscated to the East India Company in part payment of debt due to it by the Lahore govern-ment, with a proviso that the Koh-i-noor should be presented to Queen Victoria. It was taken in charge by Lord Dalhousie, who sent it to England in the custody of two officers. It was taken from Bombay, April 6, 185o, surrendered to the officials of the East India Company in London, July 2, and on the following day presented to Queen Victoria.
The Koh-i-noor weighed at that time 186 carats. (Various weights are given, varying from 180 1/16 to 186 carats.) It was rose cut above, with a large cleavage plane underneath, and a smaller one on the side. It had several flaws, and when exhibited at the great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace, London, in 1851, was valued at $700,000.
In 1852, the Koh-i-noor was recut to brilliant form. The cutting was entrusted to Costar of Amsterdam, the work being done by Mr. Voorsanger. It took thirty-eight days of twelve hours each, and is said to have cost £8,000. The work was finished September 7. The stone is not of the finest color or quality, having a grayish tinge, and it is too shallow to give the angles of reflection necessary for full interior brilliancy. The weight is now 106 carats. A model of it is exhibited among the Crown jewels and regalia in the Tower of London, but the diamond is in Windsor Castle. Both the Prince Consort and the Duke of Wellington are credited by various writers with having placed it upon the wheel in the beginning of the work of re-cutting.
One of the finest and best known of the large Indian stones which have been brought to Europe, is the ” Re-gent ” or ” Pitt.” The first name was given to it because it was bought by the Duke of Orleans while Regent of France during the minority of Louis XV ; the latter, because it was bought in India and owned for some years by Gov. Pitt, grandfather of William Pitt, first Earl of Chatham. It is said also that in India it was called ” Milliona.” The supposition is that the stone was found in the diggings of Parteal or Gani-Parteal on the north bank of the Kistnah about forty-five leagues south of Golconda, in 1701. Some say that it was found in a street of Malacca. There is a story that it was stolen from the mines by one of the diggers, who managed to escape with it. No good evidence exists of the truth of either of these statements. The stone first comes to our knowledge through the statements regarding it, made by Gov. Pitt, and though insinuations were circulated about his veracity, and suspicions aroused at that time as to the methods by which he obtained it, no proof was given that he had acted dishonorably, and he held unchallenged possession for a number of years before it was sold for his account finally to the Duke of Orleans.
At that time diamonds were used largely in India as a means of remittance to England, and Pitt, who was governor of Fort George, sent many to England. It appears also from the researches of Colonel Henry Yule, C. B., who was an Oriental scholar and president of the Hakluyt Society (” Some Famous Diamonds ” by Alexander Japp, I.L.D., F. R. S. E.), that Gov. Pitt also had a commission from one Sir Stephen Evance of London to find large fine gems, for Pitt wrote him from Madras, October 18, 1701, that there were two or three large diamonds ” up in the Countrey ” but that ” they ask soe excessive Dear for such Stones that ’tis Dangerous medling with ’em.” November 6th he wrote the Knight again, enclosing the model of a stone he had lately seen which he described thus :” Itt weighs Mang. 303 and caratts 426. It is of an excellent christaline water without fowles, onely att one end in the flat part there is one or two little flaws which will come out in cutting, they lying on the surface of the stone, the price they ask for it is prodigious, being two hundred thousand pags : tho’ I believe less than one (hundred thousand) would buy it.” He then speaks of it as superior to any diamond known, asks the Knight to keep the matter private, and to give him his opinion. Under date of August t, 1702, Sir Stephen Evance acknowledged receipt of the letter and model, but wrote discouragingly, saying that on account of the war, the French King had his hands and heart full and as ” There is noe Prince in Europe can buy itt, soe would advise you not to meddle in itt.” Pitt bought it however, and later describes the transaction while de-fending himself against the insinuations made by some of his colleagues and Surapa, a black merchant, that he had obtained possession of it unfairly. According to this account, Jaurchund, an eminent merchant in those parts, brought to him about December, 1701, a large rough diamond about 305 mangelins, and some small ones. Mr. Pitt and others bought the smaller ones, but he was afraid to venture upon the large one, for which he says Jaurchund asked 200,000 pagodas, but for which he was not inclined to offer over 30,000 pagodas. After a few days the merchant took it away. He returned about February and tried again to sell it to him, finally lowering his price to 100,000 pagodas without success.
They then agreed to meet upon a certain day about the end of February or the beginning of March, and settle the matter finally. In the discussion at that time, the dealer dropped to 55,000 pagodas, and the governor raised his offer to 45,000, when they parted. About an hour after, Jaurchund and Vincatee Chittee, who generally accompanied him, returned, and after a further encounter of wits they closed the trade at 48,000 pagodas.
It further appears by a letter of Pitt to Sir Stephen Evance of February 3, 1702, that he sent the diamond to Sir Evance, by the Loyall Cooke, to act for him in the cutting and disposal of it, giving as his opinion that it should be made into one stone. The great diamond caused quite a stir in London, and was talked of as one of the wonders of the world, but general conditions were such that a buyer could not be found. Pitt’s estimate of the value of it had increased considerably since he acquired it, for writing to Sir Stephen Evance and his son Robert in 1704, at which time, from the tenor of his letter, it must have been in process of cutting, he says he ” would not have it sold (unless it be for a trifle) less than fifteen hundred pound a caratt.”
These and the years following were troublous times for the Governor. Reports which reflected upon his acquisition of the stone were circulated; he was evidently suspicious of his agents in London, and so much of his private means was invested in it, that he felt the future of himself and family depended upon its disposal. From memoranda left by Philip, second Earl Stanhope, a grandson of Pitt, it was cut by Harris at an expense of £6,000, and the chips were valued at £10,000. The weight is given as 128 carats after cutting, but as in the inventory of the French Jewels made by order of the National Assembly in 1791, the weight is recorded as 136 13/16 carats, the weights used must have varied then, as those of different countries do now.
After many negotiations, and by-play which undoubtedly included some fighting over commissions, for nobles were expert chapmen in those days apparently, the Duke of Orleans bought the diamond for the Crown jewels of France, which meant then for Louis XV, against his accession, for two million livres (at that date 1s. 4d. was about the value of a livre). The terms were £40,000 (sterling) to be deposited in England before the stone was sent to France, as part payment, of which £5,000 was to be forfeited if the sale was not consummated on its arrival there. Governor Pitt, accompanied by his two sons, Lord Londonderry and Mr. John Pitt, and his son-in-law, Mr. Cholmondeley, took the diamond over to Calais, and was met there by the King’s jeweler appointed to inspect and receive it. As security for the balance of the purchase price, he gave them several boxes of jewels, belonging to the Crown of France, above the £40,000 already deposited, and agreed to pay the remainder in three installments at periods agreed upon. This amount was never paid, though the French govern. ment admitted the debt when the children of Governor Pitt claimed it, but pronounced it impossible to assume the past obligations of the Regent. The exact amount realized is therefore unknown, as no evidence exists as to the value of the jewels pledged.
The Regent was prominent with the Mazarins in the circlet of the Crown made by Ronde, jeweler to the King, for the coronation of Louis XV in 1722. At the inventory made by order of the French National Assembly in 1791 and drawn up in August, 1792, the value of the Regent was estimated at 12 million francs. It was deposited with the other jewels at the Garde-Meuble, and the sale of them was ordered by the Legislative Assembly. During the anarchy which followed the September massacres, the bulk of the jewels, including the Regent and the Sancy, disappeared. Many of them were re-covered, the Regent being found twelve months later in a cabaret of the Faubourg St. Germain, Voulland for the Committee of Public Security appearing before the Convention on December 10, 1793, to report the fact. It was discovered in a hole made in the timber-work of a garret.
In 1796 the Regent was pledged to German bankers as security for the cost of horse-furniture, and was redeemed in 1797. It was pawned again in 1798 with the banker Vandenberg of Amsterdam, for money to buy more horse-furniture for the army of Italy. First Consul Bonaparte redeemed it in 1802, and in 1804, at his coronation as Emperor, wore it in the pommel of his sword. The French jewels were carried off to Blois in 1814 by Marie Louise, but returned to Louis XVIII by her father, the Emperor Francis. Louis XVIII took them with him on his flight to Ghent on the night of March 20, 1815, but brought them back at the restoration. They were reset on the accession of Charles X, and remounted several times between 1854 and 1870. In August of the latter year they were deposited in a sealed box with the Governor of the Bank of France, and verified in 1875 by a parliamentary commission. In accordance with a resolution of the French Chamber in October, 1886, a number of the jewels were sold, but the Regent remains to this date in the possession of the French Government.
Pope’s lines in ” Moral Essays,”
“Asleep and naked as an Indian lay
An honest factor stole a gem away :
He pledged it to the Knight, the knight had wit,
So kept the diamond, and the rogue was bit,”
were thought to be a reflection of the scandals concerning this stone in Pitt’s time. It is said the last line in the poet’s MSS. ran,
” So robbed the robber and was rich as P.”
Colonel Yule, from whose writings these accounts are gathered, considered Thomas Pitt’s character completely vindicated, and that his very solemn asseverations, that there was nothing unrighteous on his part in the transaction, were entitled to credence.
In an account of the origin and sale of this diamond to the Regent of France, Saint Simon ignores Pitt, intimates that Law solicited his influence in the matter, and credits himself with securing a promise from the Duke of Orleans to buy it. He also attaches the customary story of a thief having stolen it at the mines in India and escaping with it to Europe. A perusal of ancient accounts of diamond transactions awakens a suspicion that all the vulgar tricks of the trade to-day were known and practiced in much coarser form then, among men whose names history has engraved among the great and noble. The Regent is a square cut brilliant.
Another diamond which has long been celebrated, and to which has been gathered the legends and adventures of several others that have borne the same name, is the Sancy. It is described as pear-shaped and brilliant cut. Upon attempting to gather from records a true account of this stone, the historian is confronted by such a mass of contradictory statements that the task becomes at once hopeless. The writers have evidently gathered a statement here and another there, often oblivious of the fact, while piecing them together, that those statements, from the nature of them, must have referred to different stones. These patchwork histories have been copied by other writers, sometimes with the addition of a chance item picked up accidentally in some other quarter; sometimes they are shorn of striking inaccuracies and rounded out with new suppositions to make the story readable or more probable. In either case reflection is forced upon the reader, that if the same has occurred in the records we have of men and events, our knowledge of the past is more in the nature of a composite photograph than a series of definite likenesses.
There are but two things about the Sancy upon which writers agree, viz.: that the first known owner was Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and that later it came into possession of Nicholas de Barly, Baron de Sancy, after whom it was named. This stone is said to have weighed 5300 or 5334 carats. According to some it was an heirloom in the family of Charles the Bold, and was brought from Constantinople by an ambassador. Its history between Charles and the Baron De Sancy is uncertain. Some say it was lost with his other treasures at the battle of Granson in 1476. The Swiss soldiers who looted his tent had no idea of the value of the things they found. They supposed his vessels of gold and silver were tin and copper, and they parted with his diamonds for trifling sums.
Another account says that he wore the Sancy in his helmet at the battle of Nancy in 1477 and that the Swiss soldier who found it on his dead body two days after the battle, sold the precious stone to a priest for 2 francs. With charming indifference to historical facts, one writer then places it in the hands of a king who never existed and who passes it on to de Sancy nearly a century after that gentleman died, describing in detail the method by which he acquired it and at what cost. Other writers say the Sancy was bought by King John II of Portugal in 1479, but as Alfonso did not die until 1481, he must have bought it either before he became King or acquired it with the Crown jewels at his accession. It is said he sold it to the Baron de Sancy in 1489. At this point the absurdities of history begin. One writer says that de Sancy bought the diamond in 1489, raised an army of Swiss for the service of Henry III in 1589 and in 1604 sold the stone to James I of England. Another writer states that de Sancy sold the diamond to Queen Elizabeth of England in 1600. Another describes how de Sancy sent the diamond by a servant to Henry III that he might pawn it to the Swiss Government. The servant disappeared. Search was made and it was found that the man had been assassinated in the forest of Dole and his body buried by a curé in the village cemetery. Knowing his man, de Sancy ordered his body to be opened and the diamond was found in his stomach. This writer links the 53 3/4 carats diamond of Charles the Bold, by this story, with the Sancy diamond inventoried among the French jewels in 1791, which weighed 33g. carats. It is said also that the Sancy was sold by Baron de Sancy to James I in 1604, and that during the Civil War in England, Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, carried it to France and pledged it with an-other to the Duke of Epernon. In 1657 Mazarin, with the Queen’s consent, paid the duke and took possession of the stone. He bequeathed it with others to Louis XIV. This writer also thinks this to be the Sancy of the French Crown jewels inventoried in 1791, and which was stolen in 1792, recovered in 1794, and probably disposed of in 1796 to meet the expenses of the great campaign of that year. It was owned in Spain in 1809, and later passed into the possession of the Demidoff family of Russia.
Another account says that it was among the Spanish Crown jewels about to years after it left France, and that Prince Demidoff owned it from 1828 to 1865, when he sold it for £20,000. In 1867 it was exhibited at the Paris Exposition and is now owned by the Maharajah of Guttiola.
An English writer says the King of France gave it to James II of England, and that James sold it for $125,000. It then passed into the Crown jewels of France, was stolen as heretofore described, recovered by Fouche for Napoleon, and sold by him to Prince Paul Demi-doff. It was next owned by the Earl of Westmeath and is now in the possession of the heirs of the multi-millionaire Parsee merchant, Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy. The latest rumor is that the Sancy has been presented by William Waldorf Astor to his daughter-in-law on the occasion of her wedding. It is possible that there are several stones which have been known by the name. It is also possible that the irregular cut stone of Charles the Bold has been at some time since recut without public mention, and that the more perfectly cut pear-shape diamond long among the French jewels is the same as the larger stone which originally bore the name of Sancy. But with all this information, the question yet remains unanswered, Where is the Sancy? The stone bought by Mr. Astor is a flattish pear-shaped briolette, rather off-color and with a white feather flaw. It is said to weigh 53 3/4 carats.