This mystic adventurer was born around 1710 and he is believed to have been a Portuguese Jew. There have been suggestions that he was of royal descent but it is certain that he was an accomplished spy. He lived in several European courts and spoke many languages fluently, and Louis XV sent him on several diplomatic missions. Grimm hinted that he was the most capable man he had ever met, and he claimed to have lived for centuries. He was very skilled at chemistry, and claimed to have the power to remove flaws from diamonds as well as the elixir of life.
He was arrested in London as a Jacobite spy but released shortly after, according to Horace Walpole. He wrote that "he is called an Italian, a Spaniard, a Pole, a somebody who married a great fortune in Mexico and ran away with her jewels to Constantinople, a priest, a fiddler vast nobleman".
He had a huge collection of precious stones which many have deemed to be genuine. In fact, he presented Louis XV with a diamond with a value of 10,000 lives.