Posted on Jul 25, 2021 140
According to legend, it was found in the mines of Kollur near the famous Indian Yulkonda. In Europe, the blue diamond appeared in the sixties of the 17th century. It weighed 112 carats and was about the size of a golf ball, i.e. almost three times its current size. The French traveler Tavernier, in 1669, extracted it by deception from the forehead of one of the Hindu deities and brought it back to France. Louis XIV liked the diamond collection of the adventurer so much that he did not hesitate to pay $100 million for it in today’s prices.
The blue diamond was a perfect match for Louis, who was obsessed with gems, especially diamonds. After four years, the king gave the diamond a unique luster. After it had been polished and cut, the diamond looked like a heart and “lost weight” to 67 carats. The rumor of a striking blue diamond, which the Sun King wore on a ribbon around his neck, spread all over Europe. The stone became known as the “Blue Frenchman”.
After Louis XIV gave it to his mistress, Madame de Montespan, she was quickly replaced as his favorite by Madame de Mentenon. Soon Louis’s loved ones died one by one: his son, his brother, his grandson and his grandson’s wife, the only person he truly loved.
When Louis XVI became king in 1774, he gave the jewel to his wife, Marie Antoinette. The couple did not realize that the clouds were gathering over them. On the night of June 20, 1791, Louis XVI and his wife and children attempted to flee Paris, but they were discovered and captured. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who laid their heads on the guillotine, added to the list of those who owned the diamond and died violent deaths.
In 1812, the blue diamond “surfaced” in London. It was impossible to sell the most famous gemstone in Europe; the thief had only one way to sell it: cutting it again. And it was done. That is why the size of the diamond is now only 2.5 centimeters. In 1830, they called it the Hope diamond.
The next owner of the diamond, a Frenchman named Colot, has gone mad and committed suicide, though he managed to sell it to the duke of Kanitovsky. After the death of Ivan Kanitovsky, Hope’s diamond was bought by the Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid II, or as he was also known, Abdul the Damned. Judging by the nickname of the last Turkish sultan, it is easy to guess that the blue diamond did not bring him any happiness. Abdul shot and killed his wife, Sultaness Salma Zobeida, who was wearing the stone at the time of the murder. In 1909, the revolutionaries deposed him, and the jewels were sold in Paris. Atmaz Hope was bought by a jeweler named Habib. After a few weeks, the ship on which he was sailing home sank 60 kilometers from Singapore.
Fears that the Hope diamond was lying on the seabed with its owner had not materialized. Evalyn Walsh McLean, the daughter of a famous wealthy man, did not believe in superstition, but her life changed for the worse after she bought the stone. Her brother died young, her eldest son was killed in a car accident at nine. Her husband drank heavily and married life ended in divorce. Her only daughter died of a drug overdose in 1946. Shaken by many tragedies, Evalyn McLean died of pneumonia a year later. She passed away on Saturday, the day the cans closed. The executors found Hope’s diamond necklace on the radio in the kitchen and nearly went gray, not knowing where to hide it until Monday. Edgar Hoover allowed the necklace to be stored in the FBI safe.
In April 1949, all 74 pieces of Evalyn McLean’s jewelry collection were bought for $1.5 million by New York jeweler Harry Winston. Nine years later, he donated the Hope diamond to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington. The valuable cargo was sent to Washington by registered mail. The mailman delivering it was hit by a truck and his leg was crushed. Soon his wife left him, then he fell out of the car and crashed. To top it all off, his beloved dog choked on his leash...
Even today, Hope’s diamond never ceases to amaze gemstone connoisseurs. In 1965, some experts discovered that when exposed to ultraviolet light, the diamond glows like a red-hot coal for several minutes. Nothing of the kind has ever happened to any other diamond.