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Hoaxes of the Old West
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The Great Colorado Diamond Hoax of 1872
Veteran prospectors Philip Arnold and John Slack spent some time in 1871 salting this Colorado mesa with precious stones; mostly diamonds, purchased London and Amsterdam for $35,000. Primarily the refuse of the European gem cutting industry, most of the gems were originally from South Africa. Then, the cousins arrived in San Francisco with the news of a “Diamond Strike” in Colorado. They deposited a bag of diamonds into the Bank of California and waited for greed to do its thing.