The Hope Diamond has become one of the world’s most famous stones. It attracts millions of visitors each year and is one of the largest blue diamonds known to exist. With its magnificent size, impressive line of owners, interesting history, and alleged curse, it’s no wonder this gemstone has managed to rise to a celebrity status that stretches around the world.
The Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats. Its official color is Fancy Dark Grayish Blue, a very rare and unique color for diamonds. It’s cut in the Antique Cushion style and valued at around $250 million (in U.S. currency). Surrounding the central blue diamond are sixteen smaller diamonds with the chain housing forty-five more.
The Hope diamond’s history is certainly full of ups and downs. It was most likely discovered in India in the 1600’s. While the details are fuzzy, it is commonly agreed that the diamond’s first owner was a merchant named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who later sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. While in France for over a century, the diamond went through various re-cuts and settings until being placed in the custody of the French government amidst the turmoil of the French Revolution.
The Hope Diamond was later stolen and, years later, turned up in London where it was ultimately bought by Henry Philip Hope and given the name that has stuck to this day. The stone found its way to the United States after the Hope family decided to sell it to a jeweler named Pierre Cartier.
A couple of private owners and gem exhibitions later, the stone came to its current resting place in the Smithsonian Museum in 1958.
The urban legend of the Hope Diamond’s curse comes from its rocky history (no pun intended) and the tendency for tragedy to fall upon its owners when they acquire it. King Louis XIV died from an awful case of gangrene while owning the stone. Owners Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded during the French Revolution, just before the diamond was turned over to the French government. Various members of the Hope family suffered financial distress and marriage problems, and the diamond’s final private owner, Evelyn Walsh McLean, endured numerous family tragedies and turmoil while the diamond was in her possession.
The “curse” legend is believed to have been thought up by Pierre Cartier as a selling point for the diamond when it originally came to the United States. It is widely accepted that the curse is fueled by a desire for publicity, especially since many accounts of misfortune can’t be confirmed.
We may not have the Hope Diamond in our wide selection of diamond jewelry, but we do have some beauties (that are completely curse-free!). Visit our website or one of our six Dallas-area locations to take a look!