This is one of 1122 articles in my book Now and Then Again, The Way We Were and the Way We Are, second edition. The book is available from Amazon for $20.95 print and $9.95 Kindle and also as an ebook from Apple, Kobo, and Scribd for $9.95. It's fixed format so it's better with a tablet, laptop, or computer. There are more articles from the book on another blog here. And there is a book preview website.
The Great Diamond Hoax
In 1872, two Kentucky Prospectors, Philip Arnold and Jack Slack, brought a bag of uncut diamonds, rubies, and sapphires to the Bank of California in San Francisco. The bank president, William Ralston, was alerted to this bonanza.
Two San Francisco jewelers examined the stones and judged them to be natural and of excellent quality. Ralston said he would arrange financing for a mining venture if Arnold and Slack would show two of his men the site where the gems were found.
After a 36 hour train ride to the east and two days on mules, blindfolded, Ralston’s men reached the site. They returned to San Francisco with 7000 carats of rubies and 1000 carats of diamonds.