On 7th August 1870, a state of emergancy was declared in Paris and three days later the Minister of the Imperial House said that the Crown Jewels should no longer be kept in the Tuileries. They were packed up and sent to Brest and as an extra security precaution they were stored in the hold of a ship named the Borda, where the collection remained for two years.
After the insurrection broke out in Paris on 4th September 1870, there were the inevitable calls for the Crown Jewels to be sold. However it took many years for a decision to be finally taken and it was on 7th December 1886 that the bill was passed. It was decided that some pieces were to be preserved in the Louvre, as well as the Natural History Museum while the Imperial Crown and swords of Louis XVIII and the Dauphin were to be destroyed. All that remained was to be sold by public auction. The sale took place on 12th May and lasted twelve days attrecting world-wide interest. The proceeds totalled over 7 million francs which was invested in government stocks at three per cent interest.