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Wore The Diamond In His Leg

Wore The Diamond In His Leg image
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Gus Fox, a dealer in diamonds on JTourth streef, has a story about the famous Orloiï diamond, named after ■Count Orlcft', the flrst Eui-opean who bought it. Fox says: "It was originally the eye of an idol in Trichinopoli. It was stolen, according to the. accepted account by a Frenchruan, who escaped with ifc to Persia, where he sold it for the equivalent in our nioney of $8, 000 to a Jewish moïchant. "The Jewish merchant soJd it toan Armenian named Shafras, who had traveled in Russia and co'icoived the idea of teking the diamond to that ■country and selliug it to the Empress Catherine for a great sum. Shafras paid Mm 60,000 forit. "Having secured the stone, the next question with Shafras was how toget it to Russia, or rather how to conceal it ■when he was searched by robbers, as he ■was sare to be on the road. The journey was a long and perilous one, and thieves abounded everywhere. Shafras thought of swallowing the stone whfin he should be taken by the robbers, but was obliged to give that plan up, as the diamond was too large to swaliow. "He began to feel he had a white elephant on his hands when a thought oocurred to him. He procured a sharp lance, made a cut in the fieshy part of his left leg and thrust the diamond into the wound. He sewed up the cut with .a needie and a silver wire. It healed, leaving the diamond imbedded fast in the leg, quite out of sight. "Then he started for Russia. On the way he was seized by robbers again and again and was thoroughly searched. Being an Armenian and suspected of going to Russia to trade, the thieves marvcled greatly at finding nothing of valuc upon his person. "He arrived in Russia at last, and, after extracting his diamond, visited the empress. Ho was willing to sell it for about 150,000, but the empress had not so large an amount in cash for the purchase, and Shafras preferred to go on to Amsterdam, the seat of the diamond cutting industry, where he had the stone polished. "Here Count Orioff, an extremely ■wealthy Russian, saw the diamond and -was filled with a determination to secure it for the Russian crown. He did secure it, but Shafras exacted from the Russian government $400,000, an annuity of $20,000 and a title of nobility. He died a raillionaire. "The Orioff diamond weighs 195 carats and is about the size of a pigeon's egg. It is smaller than the Kohinoor, in the possession of the English úeen, which is supposed to be worth


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News