$300000000 in Diamonds


Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
503
2
71
I got an article from Bill Willard about the RMST exploits, and appearently Arnie Geller is searching for "a mysterious cargo of diamonds worth $300 million."
Is there any possible truth to this? Is it possible that that is what the Bank of London was carrying? Or is it just a wannabe Indiana Jones searching for his ark?

David
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
283
12
183
Hello David, the whole story is quite unbelievable. According to the dive plan, the premise is that these alleged diamonds are in the registered mail in the bow. Thus they want to recover the mail.

Geller was present when certain family members of non-survivors were interviewed. Also there were credible historians who will confirm this story. The historians did not come out of the interview with the impression Geller did. No claim was ever filed, otherwise everyone would have known this.

We shareholders believe that Geller may have used this story to 'lure' big bucks into taking over the company. Notice in subsequent articles Geller distinguishes between 'artifacts' and 'items of non-historical significance'(My words in quotes) to sell.

I love the parallel: Geller on board the Keldysh looking in an artifact recovery bin... "No diamonds?" And in the movie, Anatoly Sagalevitch to Brock Lovett "No diamond?".

The diamonds are discussed in an interview shown on an NBC affiliate right after the movie aired a year or so ago. If you want to see a clip from the interview where Geller is questioned directly, go to www.titanic-scholastic.com and it may take 6 minutes or so to download.

Er, um, uh, er... um, um.

Let me know what you think of it.

Bill
 
Mar 23, 2004
24
0
71
Hello, all.

The fact that no claim was ever filed does not mean that no loss was suffered. Simply stated, if gold were lost (or other valuables), there would be no reason to file a claim because OSNC was protected by limitations of liability:

See: Self Insured Without Recourse

However, the only cargos which would go unacknowledged in a loss would be cargos that were self-insured, such as shipments of government gold. There's no benefit to acknowlege uninsured losses. Businesses who lose insured valuable cargo generally and quickly acknowledge that fact, and the insurance companies, to maximize their "advertising," acknowledge the payment (because, after all, they'll have to pay anyway) of the loss, as in the case of the SS Central America's insured cargos and the recent Lloyds payment for the loss of diamonds and other valuables on Swissair Flight 111. See:

Swissair plane: Picasso painting, banknotes and diamonds aboard

Uninsured diamonds aboard Titanic, unlikely. Uninsured gold - see my discussion on the Titanic's Mysterious Cargo. Given the time (and appropriate incentive), I could refine that proposition. But, since I have no financial interest in or legal claim to that wreck, I'll leave that work for someone else.

Martin
 

Charmaine Sia

Member
Nov 25, 2001
135
2
173
This is just a bit of personal opinion that may have no basis, but I feel that if diamonds worth that much were lost, there would be some mention of it at some point or another. Mentions only now don't really make sense.

Charmaine
 
Sep 20, 2000
1,072
4
0
I'm with Charmaine and Bill on this one. It just sounds *way* too convenient for the ailing RMSTi company to suddenly proclaim that there's "diamonds in them thar hulls!" ;^)

On the other hand, I don't doubt that Geller and crew would make that proclamation -- in hopes of infusing new fiscal life into the company -- if there was even a "hint of a glint" down there. :)

It's not the proposal alone that's suspicious, it's the timing!

Cheers,
John
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,609
645
483
Easley South Carolina
I wouldn't call it inconcievable that there would have been a consignment of diamonds aboard (Transported by courior perhaps?) but it seems a stretch to think that their existance would have remained a secret this long. Somebody would have to make good on the insurance if any was carried (And who wouldn't carry some?) and payout that big would attract attention.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,114
25
298
"Geller was present when certain family members of non-survivors were interviewed...." could this be
in reference to the Van Billiard family, and the rumor mentioned in the Geller book that Austin Van Billiard was supposedly carrying "a fortune" in diamonds with him? If so, it seems a pretty weak premise upon which to base an entire expedition.
 

Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
1,128
2
221
The Risien family from Groesbeck, Texas were on their way back from an extended stay in Durban, South Africa. Mrs. Risien's family, the Lellyets, did own diamond mines in the area and their son Charles, who was a personal friend of my parents, always claimed that his father had told them in advance that they were bringing back diamonds with them. While that will never be proven, I've always been intrigued that Samuel and Emma Risien (pronounced REE-zhun in a long Texas drawl) were traveling steerage. They were very well-to-do and owned a significant amount of land in Limestone, Freestone, and Navarro Counties in Texas. Samuel and Emma's daughter-in-law (Rosa Risien) told me about the diamonds when I was around 7 or 8 years old and that was the beginning of my long and intense interest in Titanic and its passengers. It would be fantastic if some day the tale was proven true. Realistically, that won't happen.
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
283
12
183
Another interesting aspect of the diamonds saga is to read the Expedition Dive Plan. My copy is believed to be authentic, because it's on an RMSTI letterhead. It was delivered by a "little bird". It even discusses the minute chances of the "fortune" in diamonds being on board. The theory, according to the dive plan, was to recover as much of the registered mail and parcels as could be recovered. To quote from the Expedition Plan:

"It has been rumored, but no documentaton has been found, that DeBeers Ltd. had shipped $250,000,000 worth of Diamonds by "Registered Mail!"

**When diamond dealer, Harry Winston donated the "Hope Diamond" to the Smithsonian Museum, he sent it to them by "Un-Insured Registered Mail". This is normal practice within the jewelry business!

End of quote. As stated earlier, one would think that better documentation would exist for such a large quantity of diamonds. I can easily see Phil's story though.

Bill
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,114
25
298
$250,000,000? If they are talking 1912 dollars, wouldn't that be the equivalent of a couple of BILLION dollars in today's money? Could DeBeers have absorbed such a big uninsured loss, and if insured, could the insurance companies have handled the claim? Even if the $250,000,000 is an adjusted figure, it represents too large a loss to go unnoticed. The whole thing sounds like a scam.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,283
291
353
From the New Brunswick, N.J., Daily Home News, 23 April 1912:

Although traveling in the steerage, it is believed by the family that Austin Van Billiard was returning home with many thousand dollars’ worth of diamonds, mostly uncut stones. He was extremely fortunate in his mining ventures in Africa. It is believed that the man sailed earlier with the expectation of surprising his relatives.

MAB
 

Steve Santini

Member
Nov 29, 2000
417
0
171
Hello all,
If memory serves, I seem to remember that a one Francis Dyke, a crewman on the Minia, wrote a letter home to his mother while that vessel was at sea on it's Titanic victim recovery mission. In the letter, he talks about the fact that the Mackay Bennett recovered John Jacob Astor and that they would be financially rewarded for this, and also he mentions the crew of the Mackay Bennett recovering the body of a man who had a bag of diamonds around his neck. Perhaps these are the stones in question. If so, and, if what Dyke had heard is true, then perhaps the "treasure" in diamonds did not in fact go down with the Titanic after all. For those interested, the letter by Dyke is in the collections of the Dartmouth Heritage Museum in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Best regards, Steve Santini.
 

Bill Willard

Member
Mar 24, 2001
283
12
183
Thanks Mark and Steve.

Both of you have provided excellent sources. The topic of contention may be where the diamonds are, if Van Billiard brought them in steerage. They may still be in his third class cabin instead of the registered mail.

If would be interesting to follow up Steve's lead. Was the body recovered with the diamonds Van Billiard? If so, the story ends with the records of the Mackay Bennett, and the follow up disposition of the diamonds.

I would expect the $250M figure to be in today's $$. If the factor of 8 is used in the conversion, the original value could be $2-3M (1912 $$).
 
Jul 10, 2005
676
7
111
I need some help with this one as age is a key factor in my memory, but....

Didn't we discuss the diamonds in another thread someplace and that someone was recovered with the diamonds sown into his coat?

Just an inkling,

Beverly
 
Mar 23, 2004
24
0
71
As for a contemporaneous mention of diamonds, there was a mention in the New York Times of such a loss, April 16 or 17, 1912.

"In addition to a valuable shipment of diamonds which was said to be aboard Titanic, ..."

But, of course, the registered mail was supposedly bought up on deck - and would have floated off, ultimately sinking only God knows where.
<table border=1>[tr][td]
mime_pdf.gif

528250832_1.pdf (9.4 k)[/td][/tr][/table]​

Truth or the Syrens' Call, visit: RMS Republic
 
J

Joshua Doyle Tift

Guest
How does any one know for certain. I have read in a book that the diamonds belonged to two brothers in steerage who were going to cash in on them in the U.S. Poeple may have been quite at the time for fear that every one would go nuts trying to find the ship and the gems. So dont allways assume that there is nothing to find until you have marked off everything you could think of.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,609
645
483
Easley South Carolina
>>I have read in a book that the diamonds belonged to two brothers in steerage who were going to cash in on them in the U.S.<<

And that book would be?

And the primary source cited by that book to support it's claims would be???

>>So dont allways assume that there is nothing to find until you have marked off everything you could think of.<<

Don't always assume that there is either. Shipwrecks that achieve notoriaty are breeding grounds for tales like this, and they have a habit of "improving" with the telling, but they are not always supported by reality. Having said that much, Titanic could very well have been carrying such things. However, any such shipments would have been handled with great discretion for security reasons.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads