[Above: The Schomberg Diamond Ring (ca 1855) contains a Brazilian cut diamond (sometimes called cushion cut or old mine cut) of just under 1 carat, set in high carat yellow gold (not hallmarked). It is set in four claws within an open scroll setting, with a divided scroll shank.]
Discovered in 1975, The Schomberg Diamond Ring is a prize winning relic from the remains of the Schomberg ship which was wrecked outside Peterborough, on the coast of Victoria, Australia in 1855.
When the Schomberg was launched from Liverpool in 1855, she was considered the “Noblest ship that ever floated on water,” according to her owners from the Black Ball Line. On her maiden voyage; its 34 year old master, Captain James Nicol ‘Bully’ Forbes, had promised to travel from Liverpool to Melbourne in 60 days, “with or without the help of God.”
Close to her destination, on 26 December 1855, 78 days after leaving Liverpool, Captain Forbes was engrossed in a card game and ignored the crew’s warnings; ultimately running the ship aground on a sand spit near Cape Otway, close to Peterborough.
- Luckily, another ship, the SS Queen was nearby and rescued all of the passengers and crew from the Schomberg.
- Parts of the wreckage of the Schomberg were washed ashore on the south island of New Zealand in 1870; nearly 15 years after its wreckage.
- Although all survived the wreck, no-one came forward to claim the valuable diamond.
The ring is on permanent display at the Great Circle Gallery, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool, Victoria, not far from Peterborough.
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