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The Hope Diamond: The Most Famous Diamond in the World

October 12, 2015

The Hope Diamond: The Most Famous Diamond in the World

I love diamonds, all sorts and sizes, which is why the Hope Diamond is particularly intriguing. It's rich and varied history is just, well, cool.  In it's current state, the Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats, with a naturally occurring, untreated, Fancy Dark Greyish Blue Color.  If sold today, it would go for at least a quarter billion dollars!

Here's the "Cliff Notes" version of this blue behemoth...

The first historical account of the Hope diamond began in the mid-1600's when the French merchant traveler, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, obtained the 112 3/16-carat diamond—yes, you read that correctly—by purchase or by theft. (Some believe that the "curse" associated with the diamond started because it was stolen...read more about the curse here!) It's thought it originated from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India. This massive triangular-shaped and striking blue diamond became known as the Tavernier Blue Diamond.

Tavernier sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. In 1673, the stone was recut by Sieur Pitau, the court jeweler, resulting in a 67 1/8-carat stone. The diamond, now known as the Blue Diamond of the Crown of France or simply the French Blue, was set in gold and suspended on a neck ribbon which the king wore on ceremonial occasions —now that's what you call a statement piece!

King Louis XV, in 1749, had the stone reset by a court jeweler in a ceremonial jewelry piece for the Order of the Golden Fleece. Alright...I really have to start condensing this or it can go on forever! Check out the full history here.  Let's fast forward to the reign of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. After they attempted to flee France in 1791 during the French Revolution, the diamond was turned over to the French government. The next year it was stolen!

It wasn’t until 1812 that the French Blue resurfaced. It passed through several owners and was renamed the "Hope Diamond" (after it was owned  by the Hope family) before an American heiress, Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, brought it to the United States. She is the one responsible for its current incredible setting; it's now surrounded by 16 white diamonds and hangs on a chain of 45 diamonds!

After Mrs. McLean died, the now famous jeweler Harry Winston bought the diamond and donated it to the Smithsonian for all to admire.Today the Hope Diamond is one of the most admired and visited museum objects in the world! It's now even believed to be a source of good luck...

What a story! While I don't have a diamond story as "famous" as the Hope Diamond, I get the pleasure of being a part of hundreds of diamond stories each and every year as individuals come in to Mullen Bros. Jewelers looking for the perfect diamond engagement rings.

From the popular halo engagement rings to the captivating vintage engagement rings, I'll do my best to help you find the right ring for her. Our incredible designers, like Gabriel & Co., are sure to have the right ring for your significant other. Helping you get the "yes" is what I do!

We're honored that Mullen Bros. Jewelers ranks #1 in overall customer ratings among all jewelry stores in Southeastern Massachusetts and we will continue to take care of our neighbors and friends, one jewel at a time.

Source: smithsonianeducatin.org and wikipedia.org


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