The 45-carat blue diamond is said to have a curse in which anyone who owns the stone or even touches it will hit misfortune and even death.
But to the dismay of anyone interested in the curse, historians said it was merely a story to add to the intrigue and value of the diamond.
“The story is very funny, it’s a lot of play among the extraordinarily wealthy people who have owned it,” said Louise Burnet, co-owner of the French jewel box.
The distinctive diamond is about two-thirds the size of a matchbox and is a phenomenal “dark gray-blue”.
“It is very mysterious and magnificent,” said Mrs. Burnet.
The diamond has been sold to many wealthy historical figures, but the story of the curse began when it was sold to Pierre Cartier, one of the famous Cartier jewelers, in 1910.
Cartier wanted to sell it to Evalyn Walsh McLean, daughter of a successful gold digger, and told her a wild story about a curse to convince her to buy it.
According to Cartier’s story, a French merchant traveler, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, stole the blue diamond from the eye of a statue of the Hindu goddess Situ in India.
Taverniers were apparently torn to pieces by wild dogs in Russia after he sold the diamond.
Cartier went on to say that there were many deaths for everyone who owned the diamond, including French officials, it even caused the beheading of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette.
From French royalty to Russian counts and actresses, Cartier said bad fates hit them all because of the diamond.
Cartier’s story convinced Mrs. McLean to buy the diamond, where she kept it until her death in 1947.
Harry Winston Inc. from New York City bought Mrs. McLean’s entire jewelry collection, including the Hope Diamond, where it was then donated to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, where it is on display today.
Mrs. Burnet said, “everyone loves a story,” but the truth about where the diamond came from does not contain such “wild intrigues.”
Taverniers have most likely gotten the diamond from Golconda in India, Burnet said.
“It came from Golconda, where all the amazing diamonds you see the incredible royal families through the Georgian era,” she said.
He bought it uncut and sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668, where it was cut to 67 carats.
“It disappeared from the French appeared in London and was cut down to what it is now at 45 carats,” said Mrs Burnet.
“The decoration of the story comes from Cartier.”
Trevor Hancock, of the Australian Antique & Art Dealers Association, said the curse of the hope diamond is just a story that made the stone more valuable and desirable.
“What’s really valuable about diamonds is the history behind them,” he said.
“Everything like the curse gives it an atmosphere and a story, and people love to buy it.”
Many other jewels like Hope Diamond have romantic stories to add to their value, but Hope Diamond is unique as its story is a death curse.
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The diamond is one of the leading attractions at the Smithsonian Institute.