The Hope Diamond
Natural Fancy Deep Grayish Blue Color
Antique Brilliant Cushion Cut
This astonishing diamond has a significant history that traces back to the 17th century. It has passed through royalty, riches, and fame, been untraceable for decades, and now resides in one of the most famous museums in the world, The Smithsonian, where 7 million visitors view it annually.
Legend has it that the Hope Diamond was originally 112 carats, and was found as the eye of a religious idol in India. This story lends evidence to the fact that perhaps it has a mate. The diamond was sold to French traveler Jean Baptiste Tavernier by a slave who believed it to be a larger sapphire, though Tavernier knew better. He took the impressive stone to Paris in 1669, where he sold it to king Louis XIV, who then cut the stone into a triangular-pear shape of nearly half its size, renaming it the French Blue at 67.50 carats. During the French Revolution, the crown jewels were stolen and the hope diamond disappeared along with them.
For over two decades nothing was heard about the remarkable stone, and then in 1830 a large blue diamond of a different shape, weighing 44.50 carats appeared on the market in England and was purchased by Henry Thomas Hope, from whom it was given its name. In 1910 Pierre Cartier purchased the diamond and sold it the American socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean. Upon her death in 1949, Mr. Harry Winston bought the magnificent gem, and later donated it to the Smithsonian Museum, where it is on display today as one of the most visited museum pieces in the entire world.
There are a number of misconceptions surrounding the mystery and infamy of the Hope Diamond. The Hope Diamond is often thought of as the largest blue diamond, when in actuality it is the fourth. It is also often mistaken as the diamond belonging to Elizabeth Taylor. Stories of misfortune and death surround its historic owners, but one thing is certain, it is the most beautiful blue diamond the world has laid eyes on.
Information acquired from the Smithsonian site.