statement that the stone bore the arms of a " European prince." The
Shah does not appear to have bought this diamond ; probably he did not
care much for historic souvenirs of European royalties, and possibly he
doubted whether Tavernier had the right to offer for sale what might be
the signet of a European monarch. However, the Shah's minister did not
fail to express his admiration of the skill shown by the " Franks " in
the art of diamond-engraving.81
in the Vetusta Monumenta of Astle, published by him in 1792, the seal
is figured as that of Mary Queen of Scots, and is said to have been in
the possession of Louis XIV. If this statement be correct, the signet
might have been among the diamonds sold by Tavernier to Louis XIV, on
the former's return to Europe. It seems to have shared the fate of a
large number of the jewels belonging to the French crown and to the
royal family, and next appears in a sale held in London June 19, 1817,
being described in the catalogue as " the engraved diamond ring of
Mary, Queen of Scots, upon which are engraved the arms of England,
Scotland and Ireland, quartered," and authenticated by a communication
from " that correct and learned antiquary the late Robert Gough, Esq."
to the following effect:
it descended from Mary to her grandchild Charles I, who gave it on the
scaffold to Arch Bishop Juxon for his son Charles II, who in his
troubles pawned it in Holland for £300, where it was bought by Governor
Yale and sold at his sale for £320, supposed for the Pretender.
Afterwards it came into the possession of the Earl of Hay, Duke of
Argyle, and probably from him to Mr. Blashford.
61 " Les six voyages de Jean Bapiste Tavernier," La Haye, 1718, vol. i, pp. 540, 541.