1864 DIAMOND LINE LETTER: Neat envelope (stationery with embossed backflap "London & South African Bank") from Port Elizabeth (OC 20) to England endorsed "per Eastern Province". Franked De La Rue 4d blue triangle (SG 19a), clear to full margins, neatly cancelled BONC numeral defacer. London PAID NO 26 struck in red on front. The letter was carried on the third sailing of the Diamond Line leaving Port Elizabeth on 21 October 1864 and arriving Falmouth on 28 November. Penzance backstamp NO 30. Accountancy mark "2" crediting 2d to the UK out of the 4d paid. F-VF, light soiling not detracting, an attractive De La Rue franking and a rare representation of Diamond Line mail. The Diamond Line service was inaugurated on May 25 1864 on arrival of the SS Eastern Province. By the middle of 1866 only three ships remained in service. The line ceased operations in 1867, an extremely short period of only 2½ years. ANY mail (ie from/to UK, Cape or Natal) carried by the line is exceedingly elusive.