The Hope Diamond: Magnificent Blue Diamond
This blue diamond has captured the imagination of the millions of people that have seen it. Most likely the Hope Diamond was found in the Kollur mine in India.
Hope Diamond History
The first record of its existence placed it in the hands of Tavernier a French merchant. He of course claimed it was purchased, though it is possible that it was actually obtained by theft around the year 1653.
After that it was known as the Tavernier Blue diamond and likely had a weight of 115 carats. Tavernier then sold the Hope Diamond, among other gemstones, to the French king Louis XIV for the equivalent of around 150 kg of pure gold. He likely got himself promoted to nobility as an added bonus. Which at that time was worth far more than the money he got for it.
In 1678 it was recut to a 67 carat stone and was known as the Blue Diamond of the Crown of France afterwards. Though most historians refer to it as ‘The French Blue diamond’.
During the French Revolution in 1792 it, along with the rest of the crown jewels, was stolen.
Many of the crown jewels were recovered but the Hope Diamond disappeared from view for a few decades. In 1812 it resurfaced in England, conveniently just after the statute of limitations for the theft had expired. It was cut from 67 carat to its current weight of 45.54 carats.
After changing hands multiple times it was sold to a diamond dealer who took the Hope Diamond to New York in 1902. It again changed hands multiple times before it was sold to Harry Winston. Who donated it to the current owner the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 1958.
The Hope Diamond Curse
Supposedly the Hope Diamond is cursed and anyone that owns or wears it will be brought to ruins. There are countless of tales of owners being imprisoned, hanged and murdered. As well as several counts of suicide. However most of these stories do not hold up when properly investigated.
It is highly likely that almost all of these stories were fabricated to drum up interest and news stories in the hopes of increasing the price of the Hope Diamond. Some of the stories involve people that never wore or owned the Hope Diamond or only tried to obtain it.
In fact several people named never even existed! Another reason for the number of deaths and misfortunes is the fact that a number of these people were not exactly upstanding citizens.
Hope Diamond Value
The standard answer for the Hope Diamond value is of course that no value can be put on it, it is priceless. However it is currently insured for a value of $250 million. If a similar diamond is found today it would most likely sell for a price of between $40-$60 million, making the history of the Hope Diamond worth around $200 million!
Visiting The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond has been on display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington for the last several decades. It was on display as a standalone gemstone for a while, until a new setting could be made. Currently it is in its new setting called ‘Embracing Hope’.
The Smithsonian Museum is well worth a visit, not just for the Hope Diamond, the rest of their extensive collection is downright breathtaking as well. With its acquisition by the Smithsonian it is likely that its tumultuous history has come to an end. But who knows what the future holds for this marvelous blue diamond.