FAMOUS DIAMONDS 3. 26 May 2017

HOPE DIAMOND

Weight: 45.52ct
Shape: Oval Brilliant
Colour: Dark Blue
Clarity: Reported Flawless
Origin: Unknown but believed to originate from India

Widely considered the most famous diamond in the world, the Hope Diamond receives its name from Henry Thomas Hope and was discovered centuries ago in the southern region of India. Long before the fabled bad luck associated with its owners, the Hope Diamond has an illustrious history. It was believed to have a great mystical power that surrounded this unusual size and unique colour, a deep indigo blue. The Hope was reputedly used to adorn the statue of a Hindu idol.

In 1642, the famous Blue Tavernier Diamond from Europe was in the hands of King Louis XIV who had it cut to bring out its brilliance. Later, the diamond was discovered stolen during the French Revolution. For many decades, the Hope Diamond could not be found. It was rumoured, according to legend, jewellers and thieves had previously acquired the stone. Some say, those who owned the blue stone, had some kind of back luck associated with them wherever they went.

At the turn of the century, in 1911, the diamond was purchased by a young American socialite heiress named Evalyn Walsh McLean who bought the Hope Diamond from Cartier for US$185,000. This gift was given to Evalyn by her husband Ned, who owned the Washington Post and Cincinnati Enquire newspapers. After time, Evalyn became convinced that the true power of the Hope Diamond came from the joy and awe which filled the faces of those who gazed upon it. Mrs McLean was the longest private owner and she owned the diamond for 36 years until her death in 1947.

Harry Winston purchased the Hope Diamond from her estate in 1949, and 9 years later it was given to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.