The World Famous Hope Diamond

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The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond is widely considered to be one of the most famous diamonds in the world. The unique deep-indigo colored stone was discovered centuries ago and is probably from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India.   While in the later years, it earned a reputation for bringing bad luck to its owners, early-on it was considered to have great mystical powers because of its unusual size and color and was believed to have adorned a Hindu statue.

One of the first accounts of the 112 3/16-carat, crudely-cut stone is when a French trader by the name of Jean Baptiste Tavernier sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. A few years later, the king had the somewhat triangular-shaped diamond recut by the court jeweler, Sieur Pitau, into a 67 1/8-carat stone. During the French Revolution, the diamond was stolen and its location unknown for several years until it resurfaced in 1812. It was then purchased by England’s King George IV. When he died deeply in debt in 1830, it is believed the diamond was privately sold.

In 1839, it was referenced in a gem collection catalogue after the death of a well-known collector, Henry Philip Hope, and for whom the stone is named. After that the diamond changed hands several times until it was purchased by the famous jeweler, Harry Winston in 1949. In 1958, the company donated the diamond to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. where it became an immediate star attraction.

The curse stems from a story that claims Jean-Baptiste Tavernier stole the 112.16 carat blue diamond from the eye of a Hindu statue. According to the legend, once the priest discovered the loss, they put a curse on whoever possesses the gem.

Padis Jewelry, a family-owned business, has been a trusted source for buying exquisite certified loose diamonds, engagement rings and fine jewelry since 1974. We are one of the only jewelers in the area that offers such an exclusive selection of top names in the industry as well as such a large inventory. For an opportunity to view one of San Francisco’s most impressive collections, please contact us to schedule at visit.

Source: si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/hope.htm

 

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