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Diamonds are forever, but not their owners

05 june 2012

There are some diamonds about which people say it would be better to stay away from them and avoid wearing for they spread gloom and desolation all around.

They are noted for their large size and elegance, but the magnificence of these stones is the cause of terrible tragedies.

One of the so-called "cursed" diamonds is the Blue Diamond, which later became known as the Hope Diamond named after one of its owners, Henry Thomas Hope, a banker and passionate collector of jewelry.

The stone weighs 44.52 carats and is the world's most famous and largest blue diamond. It is believed that all who touched the Hope Diamond experienced misfortune or ended their lives under mysterious and tragic circumstances.

However, as it was pointed out by Belgian TV Channel RTL, the curse of this stone blew over Denise Darcel, the French actress, who was photographed in New York with the diamond on her neck for the Paris-Match in January 1950.

Though nothing tragic happened to Darsel, she was never able to get a role in Hollywood worthy of her talent.

But before that the Blue Diamond used to sow death and misery all along its way.

They say that the diamond, which originally graced an Indian goddess, was stolen by a Hindu priest, who wanted to sell it, but was caught, tortured and killed.

The list of owners of this pearl of a diamond is long and almost all of them were doomed to a tragic end.

Tefernier, a smuggler, who stole the Blue Diamond in 1642 in India, was devoured by dogs.

Louis XIV, the King of France, who got it as a gift, gave the diamond to his finance minister Nicolas Fouquet to wear at a court party. The next day the superintendent was arrested and thrown into prison, where he died in agony.

In turn, the mistress of the monarch, who wore the diamond for all to show, was ambushed and killed by the crowd. Louis XIV himself suddenly got gangrene and died after long suffering.

The bloody history of the Blue Diamond was not over yet. It is worth to recall the fate of the former owners of this stone - French King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, who were guillotined, and British banker Hope, after whom it got its name and who purchased the stone in 1850 for a tidy sum of $150,000.

The banker’s son was poisoned and his grandson lost his entire fortune. Hope himself fell ill of a mysterious illness and died.

Polish Prince Poniatowski became the owner of the diamond after the suicide of his former owner, Frenchman Jacques Collot, who lost his mind. Poniatowski gave the jewel to his mistress and killed her as soon as she put it on. Later on, the prince himself was stabbed to death by one of the revolutionaries on the way to his palace.

For the subsequent owners of the Hope Diamond possession of the gem was associated with car accidents, plane crashes and mysterious peracute diseases. A Turkish sultan, who became one of the owners of the stone, lost his throne after killing his wife.

In 1912, the stone was bought by the McLean family and was brought in the United States. As a result, misfortune fell upon all the members of the Maclean family: their daughter died from a drug overdose, the son was killed in a road accident, mother became a heroin addict and the head of the family was ruined through inept operations on the Stock Exchange in New York.

The bloody path of Hope was interrupted only in 1949 when it was acquired by Harry Winston, a renowned jeweler. He presented it as a gift to the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The Hope diamond is kept there behind a bulletproof glass. As far as we know, none of the visitors suffered from his curse.

Alex Shishlo, Editor in Chief of the European Bureau, Rough&Polished