a time when Louis XV was still a minor and the Duke his Regent. The price was £135,000.
modern stone without a long and bloody history is the "Porter-Rhodes",
a blue-white diamond from Kim-berley, which was found in 1880 and
weighed in the uncut state 150 carats. Its original owner proudly
claimed that for quality this stone had no rival in the world.
Porter-Rhodes, when he visited England, had an audience with Queen
Victoria for the purpose of showing her this splendid gem. When she saw
it she was surprised, for she confessed she had been under the
impression that South Africa produced only yellow diamonds.
is another "Regent", called the "Regent of Portugal" to distinguish it
from the Pitt. This again was a Brazilian diamond. It was found in 1775
in Brazil by a poor negro slave to whom it brought more luck
than usually accrues to humble discoverers of great gems. For he was
given his freedom and a pension of £50 a year. This round stone, whose
original weight is not on record, turned the scale when faceted at 215
carats. I have seen its value given by an "authority" as 396,800
guineas, supposedly an expert assessment. He must have been a great
authority on diamonds indeed who could with such precision put a value
on a gem for which there could at no time exist an open market. Great
diamonds have no price. They are, like any gem of the first class,
worth what they can bring.
a stone which bears the name of "Sea or River of Light" we can expect
no less than that it should be of the finest water, matchless in lustre
and of a size compar-