The Blue Hope 45.52 Carats, named Hope diamond (named for its purchaser, Henry Thomas Hope) has had a long and illustrious history that spans several centuries, three continents and has passed from kings to thieves to millionaires and now one of the star attractions of the Smithsonian.
The Hope Diamond is thought to be a part of the famous Blue Tavernier Diamond, either bought or stolen in India in 1642 and brought to Europe. The Blue was purchased by King Louis XIV who had it cut to 67.50 carats from 112 carats to bring out its brilliance. The diamond was stolen during the French Revolution, and a smaller diamond of similar color was sold in 1830 to Hope, an English banker. After inheriting the diamond, Hope’s son lost his fortune.
It was eventually acquired by an American widow, Mrs. Edward McLean, whose family then suffered a series of catastrophes: her only child was accidentally killed, the family broke up, Mrs. McLean lost her money, and then committed suicide. When Harry Winston, the New York diamond merchant, bought the stone in 1949, many clients refused to touch the stone. They subsequently donated it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC where it is on display.
The curses! Check out the list of who has owned or touched the Hope Diamond and the catastrophes they have suffered.
continents, and passing from kings to thieves to millionaires and into the halls of the Smithsonian.