Cursed Beauty: The Hope Diamond

They say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.  However, this is one diamond that you would want to stay far away from.

The good news is, you won’t ever get the chance to wear it as it has been locked away in a glass case at the Smithsonian, never to be let out again.  For one, its value is over 2 million dollars.  Another reason, is that it is said to be cursed.

For the record: diamonds are fashionable.  Being cursed is not.

This diamonds very name has sparked both fear and intrigue in the hearts of all who know its name.  And whether you know all about it or not, you have at least heard of it, believe us when we say you have.

It’s none other than the Hope Diamond.

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The story of the Hope Diamond dates back to the 1600s, when a French Merchant named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier obtained a large blue stone that most likely originated in the Kollur Mine in India (the diamond also has another orign story, but we’ll get to that in a bit.). The stone was a whopping 112 carats.  In other words, it was huge.

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gujjari_guntalu_ramallakota__2_Tavernier sold the dazzling blue diamond to King Louis XIV of France in 1668, where the royal jeweler cut it down to size, at about 67 carats (which is still quite large).  Before long, the diamond became a member of the crown jewels of France, earning the names Blue Diamond of the Crown, and French Blue.

mtmynza0njyzmdk4mta4ntq3The diamond would, much later, be passed on to many owners to royal status and nobility, or just people who had a very high standing in society.  The diamond’s most notable owner, Henry Phillip Hope, was where the diamond got its name.  The gem was then given to his nephew, Henry Thomas Hope.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “That’s great, but what about the supposed curse?”  That’s what you really came here to read about, right?  After all, who doesn’t love something both beautiful and wrought with danger?  It just makes it that much more…interesting.

The curse itself is believed to have started back with the man who originally found it: Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.  If you remember, we mentioned that he we said he obtained the diamond.  What we did not tell you, was whether he purchased it, or stole it.  Many believe that Tavernier actually stole the diamond off of a statue of a Hindu statue of an Indian deity named Sita (an explanation for how the curse came about, we suppose).  Because some stories claim he bought it, and some claim he stole it, we can’t tell you exactly how Tavernier came to possess it.  We can tell you that he came down with a rather nasty fever.

1012-beautiful-statue-of-maa-sita-inside-the-sitamarhi-templeAnother set of victims of the Hope Diamond Curse, were Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI.  Marie’s husband owned the diamond, and it was reported that Marie wore it.

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5c1651ef12453df51f56678f01704c96We’ll skip French History 101 for you.  All you need to know, is that both were executed by guillotine.  Not exactly a way any ruler would want to end their reign.

Marie –Louise, Princess de Lambelle was a friend and confidant of Queen Marie Antoinette.  There is no evidence that she ever wore the Hope Diamond, but perhaps the curse even punished those who knew those who did.  When Antoinette was in prison, she was killed by a mob in a very devastating manner.  We won’t tell you the details of her death, just know it was painfully graphic. You can go ahead and look up how she died on Google, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.

lamballeJames Todd was another person who came in contact with the diamond.  He wasn’t a member of nobility, nor did he hold any remarkable status.  He was the man who was responsible for transporting the diamond to the Smithsonian.  There is a story that says he had both his legs crushed in a trucking accident, after coming in contact with the diamond.  He also suffered a severe head injury in another accident.  To make matters worse, his house burned down.

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museum-of-natural-historyThere were many other victims of the Hope Diamond Curse.  This is a stone that had both captivated and struck fear in the hearts of many.  We mentioned earlier that it’s believed that the curse started, because the diamond was said to have been stolen, and anyone who has owned it, or come into mere contact with it, either suffered horrible bad luck, or died a gruesome death.

Is the curse of the Hope Diamond real?  Or, is it just a story concocted to make the history of this world famous gem nothing more than a heart-stopping tale.

We’d tell you to try and find out for yourself, but, as we said before, you’ll never get to touch it, let alone wear it.  The Smithsonian won’t let you, so it’s already a lost cause even trying.

And we rather don’t want to be responsible for disaster caused by a diamond.

Do you believe in the curse, or is it nothing more than a story?  Tell us how you feel in the comments below.

by Lia Salem

 

 


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