A 'Shoddy' Millionaire at New YorkThe Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1323, p. 19.
July 8, 1865
A "Shoddy" Millionaire At New York.--One day, when Tommy was "doing" New York, he strode into Tiffany's magnificent jewellery establishment, on Broadway, and startled the assembled salesmen with a loud "Show us a diamond!" "Here is one, Sir," responded an elegantly modulated voice from the "diamond department." "Eighty dollars, Sir." "Pooh! not such a speck as that; something bigger." "Allow me to show you this; very pure stone, Sir, 160 dols." "Nonsense, bigger!" Herewith the gentlemanly salesman (who I have always suspected to be a noble Lord in difficulties) produced the brilliant of about the size of a small pea. "Exquisite stone, Sir; first water, 800." "Look here!" cried Tommy, becoming exasperated, "If you've got a reg'lar diamond, fetch it out; if you haven't, just say so." My Lord, half amused, half vexed, here, by way of totally annihilating his rough customer, brought out the Koh-i-noor of the place. "Will this suit you, Sir? Moderately fine stone; price, 15,000 dols." "Now you're coming to it!" cried Tommy, decidedly mollified. "Is this the tip-top biggest?" "It is, Sir," replied his Lordship, coolly (stroking his beard at the same time, as if to say, "Now, my rustic friend, I have wasted quite time enough upon you, you may go.") "You ain't got nothin' bigger, now?" "Nothing, I assure you." "Then I'll take it." M'Lord, I grieve to say, lost his presence of mind, and stared; but Thomas at once produced a huge roll of "greenbacks," counted out the money, and the sale was concluded. This, as I have been told, occurred more than a year ago. Now, my Lord, having become somewhat familiar with the ways and means of Shoddy, would scarcely lift his eyelids were his coalheaver to propose to buy out the entire concern.--Cornhill Magazine for July.