Our planet is home to some of the most unique and precious stones and jewels that one can lay eyes on. These majestic and noble jewels are incredibly rare and equally expensive. One of such beautiful gems is the blue hope diamond.
The mine that has produced the bluest diamonds is the Cullinan mine in South Africa. A blue diamond is more than 600km deep from the earth’s surface. Most diamonds are formed between 150 and 200 km deep. The blue color of this precious gem is due to the presence of boron atoms in its chemical composition. Boron allows the diamond to absorb part of the red light, which makes the gem look blue. That is why it has been the subject of many investigations. They are rare to find. So rare that around 1 in 200,000 diamonds turn out to be a blue diamond.
Most Famous of Blue Diamonds: Blue Hope Diamond.
Known as the Blue Diamond or the Cursed Stone, it is a 45. 52-carat diamond, which is navy blue. Its last owner was the American jeweler Harry Winston, who donated it to the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. This blue hope diamond, according to research by the institute, had initially been a part of the French Crown jewelry collection but was stolen in 1792. This investigation also proved that after the theft, the original diamond called French Blue was cut.
Origin of Hope Diamond.
The Hope diamond originates from the Tavernier Blue diamond, triangular in shape, and weighing 115 carats. It belonged to the French merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, where its name comes from. He acquired it between the years 1660-1661.
Legend of Hope Diamond.
The Blue Hope diamond was carved by a deity from the sun and had been stolen from the eye of an idol sculpted in honor of a Hindu Goddess. Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. The Royal jeweler Sieur Pitau cut it into a gem of approximately 67 carats. This new gem began to be known as the “Blue Crown Diamond” (French Blue). The king used to wear it in a neck loop. After his death, this jewel stopped being used.
King Louis XVI of France gave it to Marie Antoinette of Austria, and it was during the French Revolution in 1792 that this jewel was stolen along with other gems of the national treasure.
In 1812 a jeweler sold it to a diamond dealer named Daniel Eliason, who cut it again. It is believed that the new mineral was acquired by George IV of the United Kingdom, although there is no evidence.
Hope Diamond Holders.
- In 1824 it belonged to Henry Phillip Hope, who carried it on his fibula. He died in 1839.
- Henry Thomas Hope, Phillip’s brother, obtained the diamond in 1849. The collection was exhibited at The Great Exhibition in 1851 and the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1855. He died in 1869, and his wife Adele inherited the gems.
- Adele died in 1884, and the inheritance passed to her daughter Henrietta.
- Henrietta married Duke Henry Pelham-Clinton, when they die, the inheritance goes to the hands of his son Henry Pelham-Clinton Hope.
- Henry Pelham-Clinton Hope received the Blue Hope in 1887 and was forced not to sell the collection without permission from the court. In 1896 Hope declares bankruptcy, and it was in 1901 that he was able to sell the gem for £ 29,000 to Adolf Weil.
- Adolf Weil, an English jeweler, sold it to the American diamond collector Simon Frankel.
- Simon Frankel took him to New York. In 1908, he sold it to Frenchman Solomon Habib for 400,000 dollars.
- The diamond was resold at auction on June 24, 1909. The French merchant Rosenau bought it for 80,000 dollars.
- Rosenau sold the Hope diamond to jeweler Pierre Cartier for 5, 50,000 francs.
- Cartier decided to market the jewel in 1911 and sell it to the socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean.
- With the death of Evalyn Walsh McLean, beneficiaries were authorized to sell it and settle outstanding economic debts, American merchant Harry Winston bought it in 1949.
- In 1958 Winston made some geometric cuts to the diamond to increase its brightness, and on November 10, 1958, he donated it to the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.