Hope's Blood Diamond

According to legend, he was found in the Kollur mines near the famous Indian Yulkonda. In Europe, the blue diamond appeared in the sixties of the 17th century. It weighed 112 carats back then and was about the size of a golf ball, nearly three times its current size. The French traveler Travernier in 1669 fraudulently extracted it from the forehead of one of the Hindu deities and brought it to France. Louis XIV liked the adventurer's collection of diamonds so much that he, without hesitation, paid for it in terms of modern prices of about $ 100 million.

The blue diamond was the best fit for Louis, who was obsessed with precious stones, especially diamonds. After four years, the king decided to give the diamond a unique shine. After grinding and cutting, it became like a heart and "lost weight" to 67 carats. Rumors of the stunning blue diamond worn by the sun king on a ribbon around his neck spread throughout Europe. The stone began to be called "The Blue Frenchman".

After Louis XIV presented it to his mistress, Madame de Montespan, she was quickly replaced as Madame de Maintenon's favorite. Soon, one after another, people close to Louis died: a son, a brother, a grandson and a grandson's wife, the only person whom he truly loved.

After becoming king in 1774, Louis XVI presented the gem to his wife, Marie Antoinette. The spouses did not notice that the clouds were gathering over them. On the night of June 20, 1791, Louis XVI, with his wife and children, tried to escape from Paris, but was recognized and captured. Having laid their heads on the guillotine, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette increased the list of diamond owners who died a violent death.

In 1812, the blue diamond "floats" in London. It is clear that it was impossible to sell the most famous gem in Europe, the thief had the only possible way to sell it - re-cutting. And she was done. Therefore, the size of the diamond was now only 2.5 centimeters. Since 1830, the stone has been called the Hope Diamond.

The next owner of the diamond, a certain Frenchman named Kolot, went mad and committed suicide, having managed, however, to sell it to Prince Kanitovsky. After the death of Ivan Kanitovsky, the Hope diamond was bought by the Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid II, or, as he was also called, Adbul the Damned. By the nickname of the last Turkish sultan, it is easy to guess that the blue diamond did not bring him happiness. Abdul shot his wife, Sultana Salma Zobeida, on whom a stone was hanging at the time of the murder. In 1909, the revolutionaries overthrew him, and the jewelry was sold in Paris. Atmaz Hope was bought by a jeweler named Khabib. A few weeks later, the ship on which he sailed home sank 60 kilometers from Singapore.

Fears that the Hope diamond was lying on the seabed with the owner did not materialize. Evaline Walsh McLean, the daughter of a famous rich man, did not believe in superstition, but her life after buying a stone changed for the worse. Her brother died young, her eldest son died in a car accident at the age of nine. The husband drank heavily, and family life ended in divorce. The only daughter died of a drug overdose in 1946. Shocked by numerous tragedies, Evaline McLean died of pneumonia a year later. She died on Saturday, the day the banks were closed. Executors found the Hope diamond necklace on a radio in the kitchen and almost turned gray, not knowing where to hide it until Monday. Edgar Hoover allowed the necklace to be kept in the FBI safe.

In April 1949, New York jeweler Harry Winston bought all 74 pieces of Evaline McLean's jewelry collection for $ 1.5 million. After 9 years, he donated the Hope Diamond to the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. The valuable cargo went to Washington by registered parcel post. The postman delivering her was run over by a truck, and his leg was smashed. Soon his wife left him, then he fell out of the car and crashed. To top it all off, the beloved dog managed to strangle himself on a leash ...

To this day, the Hope Diamond never ceases to amaze gem connoisseurs. In 1965, experts found that when irradiated with ultraviolet rays, it glows for several minutes like a red-hot coal. Nothing like this has ever happened to other diamonds.