Weighing in at more than 45 carats, the dazzling Hope Diamond is one of the most famous gems in the world. But while experts value it at around $250 million, it’s actually less desirable than you might imagine. For more than a century, you see, rumors have swirled of a gruesome curse that strikes down anyone unlucky enough to have contact with the stone.
The curse of the Hope Diamond
In fact, the curse of the Hope Diamond has been linked to plenty of high-profile calamities during its time. We’re talking everything from the gruesome fate of Marie Antoinette to the ruin of American socialite Evalyn Walsh Mclean here.
But did a simple gemstone really lead to executions, torture, and violent deaths? Or were these merely rumors designed to sell papers and drum up excitement surrounding the stone?
Separating fact from fiction
From its myth-shrouded beginnings in an Indian mine to its current incarnation as a feature in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Hope Diamond certainly has a long and fascinating past. But which parts of the story are actually true?
Well, there’s a lot to get through in this story, so buckle up. We’re going to try to separate fact from fiction here, as we recount this incredible tale.
Origins of the Hope Diamond
Of course, the history of the Hope Diamond technically stretches back more than a billion years. We need to cast our minds back to a time, in fact, when carbon atoms bonded deep beneath the surface of the Earth.
Combined with trace amounts of boron, this chemical process eventually resulted in a brilliant blue diamond. And eventually, the treasure was unearthed by miners working in 17th-century India.
Although much of the diamond’s history is based on rumor and conjecture, it’s believed to have been discovered at the Kollur mine. This is in a state now known as Andhra Pradesh. Back then, the diamond was much bigger than the stone seen in the Smithsonian today.
According to legend, the diamond eventually found its way into a Hindu temple. Here, it was used to represent the eye of an idol carved from stone.