American El Dorado: The Great Diamond Hoax of 1872

Join us on Tuesday, March 19th at 6:30 pm when award-winning Author Ron Elliott will speak about his new book, American El Dorado: The Great Diamond Hoax of 1872.

Long before Charles Ponzi attached his name to the word “scheme” and a hundred years before Bernie Madoff mastered the investment con, Kentuckian Phiip Arnold put together a plan which, like none before, would bilk rich (and greedy) investors using a technique entirely befitting America’s still-wild west.  Not content with simply swindling some of the country’s brightest luminaries, politicians and high-profile celebrities of the day, Arnold did so in grand style, making himself and his story the subject of nation-wide headlines.

In the years following the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, which led to the California Gold Rush and Nevada’s silver Comstock Lode in 1859, the largely unexplored American West was prime territory for the next discovery of untold treasure.  So, in 1872 when news of a newly found diamond mine swept the nation, many people were eager to join in the quest for fortune.

Award winning author Ron Elliott takes the reader behind the scenes of this little known and almost-too-fantastic to be true scam, reveals how a fake diamond mine induced investors to heap a fortune on its perpetrator and describes his enviable downfall.