Ron Elliott's Books

American El Dorado

$24.95 + 3.75 S&H

Events would soon show that the pouch was packed with raw, uncut diamonds.  When pressed, Arnold would only say that he had found the stones "somewhere to the East."  That possibility is not as wilds as it seems.  Who knew there was gold in California before 1848?  Who was to say that there were no diamonds in the vast unexplored American West?

     Arnold managed to rope in some of the most important men in the country and returned to Kentucky a rich man.

Therefore, I must explain that even though the facts surrounding the great diamond hoax of 1872 are virtually beyond belief, I told it just the way it happened and included ample documentation to prove it.


Philip Arnold, a native of Hardin County, Kentucky sought his riches in the California gold rush of 1849.  He did make some money and, more importantly, got to know and gained the trust of some of  San Francisco "money men."  So when he showed up on a foggy night in 1870, the investors were not suspicious, only curious, concerning the buckskin pouch concealed beneath his coat.


The difference between non-fiction and a novel is sometimes subtle.  Primarily, a novelist gets to make up the facts, but even so,  the "facts" must remain consistent and feasible.

The hoax story is featured in an episode of the TV show "Mysteries at the Museum." 

American El Dorado

The Great Diamond Hoax of 1872