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The Francillon Memo

George F. Kunz, a prominent American mineralogist active around the turn of the twentieth century, found the Francillon Memo tucked into a 1768 book about the French Crown Jewels in a London bookshop (Kurin 2006). The book and memo were later donated to the USGS, where Smithsonian researchers rediscovered them.

The text of the memo is as follows:

Weight 177 grains.

The above drawing is the exact size and shape of a very curious superfine deep blue Diamond, Brilliant cut, and equal to a fine deep blue Sapphire. It is beauty full and all perfection, without specks or flaws, and the Color even and perfect all over the Diamond.

I traced it round the Diamond with a pencil [by leave of Mr Daniel Eliason], and it is as finely cut as I have ever seen a diamond.

The color of the Drawing is as near the color of the Diamond as possible.

Image of a page from the Francillon Memo dated September 19, 1812 with a drawing of what appears to be the Hope Diamond.

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