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BeatrixFan 09-20-2005 12:17 PM

Famous (and Infamous) Royal Gemstones
Not sure if this is the right forum for this but I was waiting for 'A Royal Family' on the History Channel today and ended up watching a programme called, 'The Curse of the Hope Diamond'.

I didn't catch the first 15 mins - does anyone know which Royals it belonged to before Evelyn McClean?

It is an amazing piece of jewellery - cursed or not! :D

Lady Marmalade 09-20-2005 12:23 PM


Hope this helps. I did a term paper on the Smithsonian when I was in college and still had it on my hard drive.

Here is what I wrote on the Hope Diamond..

he history of the stone which was eventually named the Hope diamond began when the French merchant traveller, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, purchased a 112 3/16-carat diamond. This diamond, which was most likely from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India, was somewhat triangular in shape and crudely cut. Its color was described by Tavernier as a "beautiful violet."
Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France in 1668 with 14 other large diamonds and several smaller ones. In 1673 the stone was recut by Sieur Pitau, the court jeweler, resulting in a 67 1/8-carat stone. In the royal inventories, its color was described as an intense steely-blue and the stone became known as the "Blue Diamond of the Crown," or the "French Blue." It was set in gold and suspended on a neck ribbon which the king wore on ceremonial occasions.

King Louis XV, in 1749, had the stone reset by court jeweler Andre Jacquemin, in a piece of ceremonial jewelry for the Order of the Golden Fleece (Toison D'Or). In 1791, after an attempt by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to flee France, the jewels of the French Royal Treasury were turned over to the government. During a week-long looting of the crown jewels in September of 1792, the French Blue diamond was stolen.

In 1812 a deep blue diamond described by John Francillion as weighing 177 grains (4 grains = 1 carat) was documented as being in the possession of London diamond merchant, Daniel Eliason. Strong evidence indicates that the stone was the recut French Blue and the same stone known today as the HopeDiamond. Several references suggest that it was acquired by King George IV of England. At his death, in 1830, the king's debts were so enormous that the blue diamond was likely sold through private channels.

The first reference to the diamond's next owner is found in the 1839 entry of the gem collection catalog of the well-known Henry Philip Hope, the man from whom the diamond takes its name. Unfortunately, the catalog does not reveal where or from whom Hope acquired the diamond or how much he paid for it.

Following the death of Henry Philip Hope in 1839, and after much litigation, the diamond passed to his nephew Henry Thomas Hope and ultimately to the nephew's grandson Lord Francis Hope. In 1901 Lord Francis Hope obtained permission from the Court of Chancery and his sisters to sell the stone to help pay off his debts. It was sold to a London dealer who quickly sold it to Joseph Frankels and Sons of New York City, who retained the stone in New York until they, in turn, needed cash. The diamond was next sold to Selim Habib who put it up for auction in Paris in 1909. It did not sell at the auction but was sold soon after to C.H. Rosenau and then resold to Pierre Cartier that same year.

In 1910 the Hope diamond was shown to Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, of Washington D.C., at Cartier's in Paris, but she did not like the setting. Cartier had the diamond reset and took it to the U.S. where he left it with Mrs. McLean for a weekend. This strategy was successful. The sale was made in 1911 with the diamond mounted as a headpiece on a three-tiered circlet of large white diamonds. Sometime later it became the pendant on a diamond necklace as we know it today. Mrs. McLean's flamboyant ownership of the stone lasted until her death in 1947.

Harry Winston Inc. of New York City purchased Mrs. McLean's entire jewelry collection, including the Hope diamond, from her estate in 1949. This collection also included the 94.8-carat Star of the East diamond, the 15-carat Star of the South diamond, a 9-carat green diamond, and a 31-carat diamond which is now called the McLean diamond.

For the next 10 years the Hope diamond was shown at many exhibits and charitable events world wide by Harry Winston Inc., including as the central attraction of their Court of Jewels exhibition. On November 10, 1958, they donated the Hope diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, and almost immediately the great blue stone became its premier attraction.

The Hope diamond has left the Smithsonian only four times since it was donated. In 1962 it was exhibited for a month at the Louvre in Paris, France, as part of an exhibit entitled Ten Centuries of French Jewelry. In 1965 the Hope diamond traveled to South Africa where it was exhibited at the Rand Easter Show in Johannesburg. In 1984 the diamond was lent to Harry Winston Inc., in New York, as part of the firm's 50th anniversary celebration. In 1996 the Hope diamond was again sent to Harry Winston Inc., in New York, this time for cleaning and some minor restoration work.

The weight of the Hope diamond for many years was reported to be 44.5 carats. In 1974 it was removed from its setting and found actually to weigh 45.52 carats. It is classified as a type IIb diamond, which are semiconductive and usually phosphoresce. The Hope diamond phosphoresces a strong red color, which will last for several seconds after exposure to short wave ultra-violet light. The diamond's blue coloration is attributed to trace amounts of boron in the stone.

In the pendant surrounding the Hope diamond are 16 white diamonds, both pear-shapes and cushion cuts. A bail is soldered to the pendant where Mrs. McLean would often attach other diamonds including the McLean diamond and the Star of the East. The necklace chain contains 45 white diamonds.

Warren 09-20-2005 12:33 PM

Diamonds Galore!
Here is a link with some fab photos of the Hope Diamond...

The Home Page of this site:

Check out the "100+ Famous Diamonds" - hours of enjoyment!

BeatrixFan 09-20-2005 01:18 PM

Lady Marmalade and Warren,

Thankyou so much for your help! It truly is amazing. I wonder if there is something to the curse.

But if I was offered it, I'd definately accept!

Freedom 09-20-2005 01:49 PM

Truly fascinating Lady Marmalade! :)

Lady Marmalade 09-20-2005 02:18 PM

You are welcome.

By the way...little bit of trivia, the former Duke of Newcastle (he was the last one)'s daughter Patricia lives in Palm Beach. She is directly related to the family to which the diamond is named..

tiaraprin 09-20-2005 04:21 PM

As someone who has seen the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian (albeit through glass), I can tell everyone that it is a sight to behold!!

I saw a special on the Hope Diamond here in the USA some months ago. It was a royal jewel at one time, belonging to Marie Antoinette but lost at the time of the French Revolution. It emerged years later in a smaller, different cut.

It seems to have truly brought bad luck to all owners of the stone, except the Smithsonian. Evelyn Walsh McLean lost her 2 children and suffered from much illness after acquiring it.

BeatrixFan 09-20-2005 05:57 PM

Wow Tiaraprin! I'd love to see it close up.

I do believe that its cursed but I think thats my superstitious side is taking over! It's such a coincidence. Evalyn McLean lost her son in a road accident (and the limit was 11mph!), her daughter committed suicide and her husband went mad and ended up in an asylum - she abused morphine and gin and ended up losing alot of her fortune, forcing her to sell her family buisness and many of her houses.....coincidence?

Elspeth 09-25-2005 05:50 PM

Beatrixfan, since you're in the UK, did you know there's an exhibition about diamonds at the Natural History Museum at the moment? I think it runs through February. The Hope diamond isn't there, but there are all sorts of interesting things there, including the Millennium diamond, according to their website.

galuhcandrakirana 09-26-2005 04:05 AM


Originally Posted by tiaraprin
It seems to have truly brought bad luck to all owners of the stone, except the Smithsonian. Evelyn Walsh McLean lost her 2 children and suffered from much illness after acquiring it.

I also read somewhere that some people have believed that the stone belongs to people and It doesn't like become a private collection then it gives bad luck for its personal owner...:)

BeatrixFan 09-26-2005 06:06 AM

I didn't know Elspeth! Thanks for that - I'll try and go :D

tiaraprin 09-26-2005 11:42 PM


Originally Posted by galuhcandrakirana
I also read somewhere that some people have believed that the stone belongs to people and It doesn't like become a private collection then it gives bad luck for its personal owner...:)

I believe the origin of the stone is that it was stolen from a religious place/icon and it was cursed for being stolen.

sara1981 09-27-2005 01:22 AM

thanks for info about but i would like go there when i would go there for my second trips see Royals and Diamonds but i would like see fancy diamonds but one of my favourite of 2 carats at Rogers Jewerlys many people always friendly to me more respective!

Toledo 07-29-2006 05:35 PM

I was going to start a thread in jewels with a curse but could not find enough material besides the notorious legend of the Hope Diamond. These articles came out today, I believe the second one is the same with a new title:

Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem :eek:
Randolph E. Schmid, Canadian Press
Published: Saturday, July 29, 2006

Smithsonian scholar sets out to debunk legendary curse of the Hope Diamond
June 29, 2006

Toledo 07-30-2006 12:05 AM

Here is another unlucky jewel (thanks Elspeth for the suggestion!)
the Kohinoor Jewel

The World's Most Sought After Diamond
The story of a diamond which is coveted by the Governments of two countries. Kingdoms have been lost and a lot of blood has been shed.

Quest for the Kohinoor

The Troubled Timeline of Kohinoor 4 August, 2005
Kohinoor is the costliest diamond of the world which gives luck or ill-luck to its possessor.

uweripka 09-29-2006 05:24 AM

Sapphire of Katharine the Great

Does anybody has some information about the sapphire of 337 cts. which was bought by Harry Winston and which was owned by Katharine the Great?

Thank you for any help!!

Skydragon 12-30-2006 06:43 AM

The Koh-i-Noor legend: Those who get it, keep it

LONDON, Dec. 29: Some 155 years ago, a nine-year-old boy carrying a silk cushion was brought before Queen Victoria. His job was simple: To present Britain with the most glittering and symbolic spoil of its war to subjugate the Indian sub-continent.

Duchess Ravenna 10-08-2008 12:35 AM

Does anyone know of any curse or superstition attached to the Timor Ruby (really a spinel) in QEII's collection, I believe one of the Crown Jewels? I remember reading that the Queen has never worn it...and I was wondering why, since it's a spectacular stone in an absolutely gorgeous setting. If I owned it, I think I'd sleep and shower with it on, it's just that astonishing...

said han 06-29-2009 06:10 AM

Hi Every body i would like to know about Koh-e-noor which means in my Balochi language the stone of light, koh balochi word which means stone noor arabic word which means light i would like to know where this famous dimond came from originally originally?

Lumutqueen 06-29-2009 06:23 AM

means mountain of light in Persian. It's a 105 Carat diamond and was once the largest diamond in the world. It became part of the British Crown Jewels in 1877.
The Kohinoor originated at Golconda in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India.
Like all significant jewels, the Kohinoor has its share of legends. It is a legend that whoever owns the Koh-i-Noor rules the world.
The Kon-I-Noor is now set in the Imperial State Crown.

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