The legends and myths (and the curses!) associated with the most famous jewels in history.
The Hope Diamond, named for its 19th century owners, is arguably the best-known diamond in the world. It’s widely believed what became the Hope Diamond was cut from a 115-carat blue diamond sold to King Louis XIV from a mine in India . Legend has it that death and misfortune plague the diamond’s owner, claiming notable figures such as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette along with many jewelers and socialites. Most of the stories surrounding supposed owners of the diamond have been proven historically inaccurate. The 45.42-carat diamond currently resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
The Koh-I-Noor diamond was once the most well-known throughout the world. Legend has it the " Mountain of Light " was stolen from the Hindu god Krishna . Often, the spoils of war, the 186-carat diamond steadily passed among Hindu, Mughal, Persian, Afghan, and Sikh rules before being recut to 109 carats and added to the British Crown Jewels in 1877. A life of misfortune reportedly falls upon any male owner of the diamond.
Black Orlov Diamond
The Black Orlov diamond, or “the Eye of Brahma,” was supposedly stolen from an Indian idol in its 195-carat form. The diamond is said to hold a deadly curse, causing three of its owners to jump to their death. The diamond has since been cut into three separate pieces in attempts to break the curse. No tragedies have befallen the owners of the cut 67.5-carat diamond.
Delhi Purple Sapphire
The cursed Delhi Purple Sapphire was brought to the UK from Kanpur by a soldier. Both the soldier and his son lost their wealth and health after owning the stone, and a family friend reportedly killed himself after possession of the stone for a short time. Edward Heron-Allen, a scientist and friend of Oscar Wilde, willed the stone to the Natural History Museum in London after steady bad luck, he believed, caused by the Delhi Purple Sapphire.
Black Prince's Ruby
The Black Prince’s Ruby is one of the oldest gems among the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom . Sitting in the cross pattée of the British Imperial State Crown. The 170-carat spinel’s namesake acquired the jewel as payment for aiding Don Pedro the Cruel to victory in a civil war.
La Peregrina Pearl
La Peregrina Pearl is one of the most famous of its kind. The 500-year-old pearl WAs found by an African slave and presented to King Philip II of Spain , who then gifted it to his wife, Mary I of England . The pearl was steadily passed down to members of European royalty before purchased at auction by Richard Burton. He gave the pearl as a gift to his wife and its current owner, Elizabeth Taylor.
Star of India Sapphire
Weighing in at 563 carats, the Star of India is one of the largest star sapphires in the world. It was mined in Sri Lanka and brought to New York by banker J.P. Morgan,who donated the gem to the American Museum of Natural History. In 1964, the stone was stolen by a small-time thief who was arrested two days later. The stone was recovered in a locker in a Miami bust stop.
Email received July 2010