1813-1823Mr. Eliason's Diamond
Several other British naturalists and gem experts made note of a large blue diamond in London in the years following Francillon's memo. In the 1813 and 1815 editions of his book, A Treatise on Diamonds and Precious Stones, mineralogist and gem connoisseur John Mawe writes that “there is at this time a superlatively fine blue diamond, of above 44 carats, in possession of an individual in London, which may be considered as matchless, and of course of arbitrary value.” Similarly, James Sowerby, a naturalist known for his illustrations of minerals and other objects, wrote that “Daniel Eliason, Esq. has in London, a nearly perfect blue Brilliant, of 44½ carats, that is superior to any other coloured diamond known” (Sowerby 1817).
By 1823, the diamond was no longer in Eliason's possession. Mawe returned to the subject of the blue diamond in the 1823 edition of his book, writing that:
A superlatively fine blue diamond weighing 44 carats and valued at £30,000, formerly the property of Mr. Eliason, an eminent diamond merchant, is now said to be in the possession of our most gracious sovereign… The unrivaled gem is of a deep sapphire blue, and from its rarity and color, might have been estimated at a higher sum. It has found its most worthy destination in passing into the possession of a monarch, whose refined taste has ever been conspicuous in the highest degree” (Mawe 1823)
According to Mawe, then, Eliason had parted with the diamond and it had come into the possession of George IV, the King of England. However, no evidence linking the Hope Diamond to the king has been found in the British royal archives, and we do not know whether George IV ever possessed it as either owner or borrower (Post and Farges 2014).
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