The Hope Diamond - legend, myth and color

Hope DiamondThe Hope Diamond

This diamond has an infamous reputation. Louis XIV of France wore the 67 carat diamond on special occasions and it became know as the "Blue Diamond of the Crown" or the "French Blue." During the French Revolution of 1792 the blue diamond was stolen. It is thought that the diamond was acquired by King George IV of England but sold after his death due to large debts.

In 1839 the diamond was listed as belonging to Henry Philip Hope, from which it got it's now famous name. It was during this time that the legend of the Hope Diamond curse began, spurred on by the fact that all of Mr. Hope's family died in poverty.

The Hope diamond passed though several owners until it finally was purchased in 1911 by Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean from the famous jeweler, Cartier. She had the now 44 carat diamond set as a pendant with 16 white diamonds surrounding it and a chain of 45 white diamonds.

The diamond's curse continued when her son died an untimely death. But Evalyn did not believe the misfortune was connected with the Hope. She would not be parted from the Hope Diamond and wore it often.

At her death in 1949, Harry Winston brought it and displayed it frequently in jewelry exhibitions. In 1958 he donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian.

The Hope Diamond fluoresces with a unique reddish color when exposed to ultraviolet light.



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