Legend of the Hope Diamond

23 Sep

Other than, perhaps shoes, is no item marketed or associated with female tastes more than diamonds. The "diamonds are a girl's best friend" culture has turned diamonds into mythical items that symbolize love, lust and power. Of all legends associated with diamonds few match the stories surrounding the Hope Diamond.

The 45-carat blue diamond is displayed at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. How it arrived is debated. Early 20th century accounts stated that the Hope Diamond was taken from an eye of a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. While these reports have been largely debunked the actual history of the diamond is rift with folklore.

The Hope Diamond is believed to have been spawned from the Tavernier Blue Diamond. The Tavernier Blue was a 112-carat diamond that likely came from the Kollur mine in India. French traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier returned to France from India with the massive gems, which he sold to French aristocracy. In 1669, Tavernier sold the diamond and others to King Louis XIV for gold. Louis XIV commissioned his court to re-cut the diamond to be the crown jewel of French royalty.

The legend of the curse began more than 100 years after the diamond arrived in France. During the hectic days of the French Revolution, King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette lost their heads to the guillotine and the diamond was spirited away by thieves. The stone was re-cut to avoid detection, but such a large and unique diamond could not hide forever.

Almost 20 years after the diamond had gone missing the stone reappeared, which proved to be almost exactly as long as the statute of limitations for stealing the crown jewels. Stories began to surround the diamond almost immediately after it reemerged. The blue diamond had supposedly brought suffering to all who came into possession of it. Cursed or not the Hope Diamond is remembered.

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