The Hope Diamond is an over 45 carat blue diamond which is surrounded in mystery. Even the exact origins of the famous diamond are unknown but it is said to possibly have been in the ownership of a French gem merchant in the 1600’s before being cut and changing hands several times. This is all mostly speculation, because no one knows the entire story of the gem for sure. It is rumored that the Hope was cut from the French Blue diamond which was stolen during the French Revolution but it has never been proven.
It is now housed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. where it was donated by Harry Winston in 1958. Before it was safely ensconced at the Smithsonian, the diamond was associated with many tragedies for the people who owned it. So many things were said to have happened to the previous owners that the Hope Diamond is widely speculated to be cursed. Below are just a few of the tales associated with the Hope but there are many more, including drownings, car accidents, and other suspicious deaths.
The gem was said to have been originally stolen from a statue of a Hindu goddess by French gem merchant Tavernier. He was later reputedly torn apart by wild dogs in Russia as a punishment for his theft. In the 1800’s it is believed that the same gem which Tavernier stole surfaced in England with the Hope family. The family who were known for their extraordinary wealth went bankrupt within three generations.
The diamond changed hands several times, finally ending up with famed jeweler Cartier who convinced a woman named Evelyn McLean to buy it. He told her of its negative history, and some said that he was the one who began the stories about the now well known curse in order to make it more intriguing to Mrs. McLean. After she finally purchased it, her family was devoured by tragedy. Her firstborn son was killed in a car crash as a young boy, her daughter committed suicide at age 25, and her husband was deemed insane and was sent to an institution where he lived until his death in 1941.
When Mrs. McLean died in 1949, the Hope Diamond was sold in order to settle debts. It was purchased by Harry Winston who donated it to the Smithsonian, where it has been on display until current day. Whether the diamond is truly cursed or not is unknown, but it seems to be safe in its current glass encased home…away from hands which might be curious enough to tempt fate.
To see artwork which goes with this work, click here to go to the blog of Evangeline who I am collaborating with for this year’s A to Z!