ByHannah Evans, writer at
I like unsolved mysteries, interesting stories and Harry Potter :)
Hannah Evans

Most of this information is taken from the book 'The Readers Digest Book of Strange Stories and Amazing Facts' copyright 1975, revised 1976. I apologise for any inaccuracies, please remember this is just for fun.

The first recorded victim of the curse, at least according to legend, was a Hindu priest who fell under its spell 500 years ago soon after it was mined. He stole it from the forehead of an Indian temple idol but he was caught and put to death by torture.

The diamond turned up in Europe in 1642 in the hands of French trader-smuggler Jean Baptiste Tavernier.

He made enough money from selling it to buy himself a title and an estate. Then his son got so badly into debt through gambling that Tavernier was forced to sell everything he owned. Bankrupt, he headed back to India to remake his fortune, only to be torn apart by a pack of wild dogs. (Though this is disputed and some believe the official story that he lived to the age of 84 and died of natural causes but where's the story in that?)

The gem reappeared in the possession of the French King Louis XIV, The Sun King.

He had the diamond cut from it's original 112.5 carats down to 67.5 carats.

Nicolas Fouquet, a government official who borrowed it for a state ball, was convicted in 1665 of embezzlement and was disgraced and imprisoned for the rest of his life

Louis himself died a broken and detested man as much of his vaulted empire crumbled in a series of military catastrophes.

Ignorant of the apparent curse, three more of the French royal family died. The Princess De Lambelle

Who is said to have worn it regularly was raped and beaten to death by a mob. Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie Antoinette, who inherited the diamond, met their end by guillotine during the French Revolution.

Then in 1792, while post revolutionary Paris was still in turmoil, the diamond vanished for almost 40 years. The gap left more than enough room for legends to spring up as the where the diamond found itself.

A French jeweller, Jacques Celot, is said to have gloated over its beauty before he went insane an killed himself. A Russian Prince, Ivan Kantivoski, is said to have given to his mistress, a Mademoiselle Ladue, then shot her dead and was later murdered himself and it was even rumoured that Catherine the Great of Russia wore it before she died of apoplexy.

It was only rediscovered for certain when a Dutch diamond cutter sheared it down to its present weight of 44.5 carats and later committed suicide after his son stole it from him.

The jewel bounced from reported bloody hands to bloody hands across Europe to Henry Thomas Hope, a wealthy Irish banker, who bought it for £30,000 and gave it it's modern name. Many members of the Hope family blamed the stone for misfortune and Henry's grandson died penniless.

In 1908, Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid, after purchasing the stone for $400,000 gave it to Abu Sabir to polish, Sabir was later imprisoned and tortured. The Sultan then gave the stone to his wife, Subaya, then stabbed her and a year later lost his throne.

The jinxed jewel moved back to America where it was bought for $154,000 by business tycoon Ned McLean in 1911. Over the next 40 years, McLean's young son, Vincent, was run down by a car, McLean was financially ruined and died in a mental hospital, his daughter died of a drug overdose in 1946 and his wife, Evelyn, became a morphine addict.

Only American jeweller Harry Winston, who bought the stone from the heirs of the McLean family, escaped it's curse. He gave it away--to the Smithsonian Institute.

Since the Hope diamond was donated, it's curse seems to have become dormant. here are those who dismiss the curse as myth, probably because fictional characters have been connected to it, some people alleged to have owned the diamond have no record of having done so and, as with any story of curses, there's enough inconsistency and 'rational' explanations for its former owners' misfortunes that have been blamed on it but I do wonder, if a stone with a history of such blood and passion, was ever to be offered for rent or similar, if many would really feel confident enough to risk it.


Do you believe the Hope diamond is cursed?


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