English 1 (PreAP) - Fifth Hour
11 December 2013
The History and Curse of the Hope Diamond
Behind the beautiful steely blue Hope Diamond lies a cruel and often bloody history, a history that is full of mystery and intriguing stories. This ornate diamond has changed hands many times throughout its long past. The most interesting part of this is the fact that it is said that many of its owners have met with a gruesome fate. It is because of this occurrence that there is an alleged curse behind the precious gem, whether true or not. As stated by Richard Kurin, “[the curse] is only one small piece of a long and lustrous story…” (Kurin). From its supposed origins in an ancient Indian statue, through the hands of Royalty, and on to the ultra-rich, the Hope Diamond leaves a fascinating yet often brutal mark on many of those in its path.
The true origin of this precious diamond is clouded and often unclear. The lack of documentation makes it hard to sort out the truth from the lies. As far as the story goes, the diamond was stolen from an ancient Indian statue, and this is where the curse got its beginnings. The much more likely story is that the massive 112 carat diamond was purchased by a man known as Jean Baptiste Tavernier from the Kollur mine in India (Department of Mineral Sciences). Jean later sold the diamond to King Louis XIV in 1668 (Department of Mineral Sciences). The story of the curse goes to say that Jean died of sickness shortly thereafter, and was found with his body torn to pieces by wolves (Conradt). This is the first of many of the victims of this “curse”.
The second part of this story is a royal one, and equally as interesting as the first. King Louis XIV was the next recorded owner of this mysterious jewel. He had it recut by the royal jeweler to a 64 carat (still gigantic) size and was shortly thereafter dubbed “The French Blue” (Department of Mineral Sciences). It was mostly worn around his neck to special...
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