SAN FRANCISCO LETTER [dated January 11, 1866)
Gorgeous New Romance, By Fitz Smythe!
I have seen some of the beautiful opals they find in Calaveras county near Mokelumne Hill. Some of them are very handsome. A day or two ago I was shown an Idaho diamond. It was very pure and brilliant, and was said to be a genuine diamond, and of the first water. I compared it with a couple of splendid twenty-five hundred dollar Brazilian diamonds in Tucker 's window which have been dazzling people's eyes and attracting considerable attention for a few days past, and I could not swear to any difference. That amounts to something although I am not an expert where it comes to estimating the value and fineness of diamonds. And now they are finding superb moss agates and other precious stones on the river bank right up here at Martinez. This reminds me that there is a hill-side down the gulch below Aurora, Esmeralda, which is covered with round, hard, knotty-surfaced little boulders which display the most beautiful agates when broken open. Might not the Esmeralda people find it profitable to send a bushel or two of those things to the Eastern markets? Nobody cared anything about them when I was there three years ago.
Premature - text not available
A Handsome Testimonial - text not available
The California Art Union - text not available
Theatrical - text not available
[reprinted in Mark Twain's San Francisco, edited by Bernard Taper (McGraw Hill, 1963), pp. 184-85.]
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