5 Most Famous Diamonds In The World
In addition to being girls' best friends, diamonds are sometimes the cause of tragic events in the lives of their owners. Of course, this concerns only the extremely expensive stones that belonged to monarchs. Today, we are going to tell you about 5 famous diamonds and the interesting stories behind them.
1. "The Hope Diamond"
Of course, we would love to present this amazingly blue stone as one that "gives hope", but we would be distorting the true story behind this beautiful diamond. The stone received its name from the British banker Henry Philip Hope. According to documents, he owned the diamond back in 1839. There is little information about where the famous diamond was mined and who was the owner. There are only legends and rumors about the expensive jewel. The story behind the Hope Diamond is told as follows.
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a gem merchant and traveler, brought this 115-carat diamond from India to France. He successfully sold it to one of his colleagues, jeweler, King Louis the Great. For some reason, instead of keeping it a single large stone, the master divided it into smaller pieces. A piece that once belonged to the Romanovs' house and was worn by the Empress Maria Feodorovna, the mother of Alexander I and Nicholas I, is now kept in the Diamond Fund in Moscow. Another piece obtained as a result of recutting the large diamond shined in the ornaments of Louis XIV and Louis XV. In the royal treasuries, it was listed as the "blue crown diamond". The stone didn't bring happiness or health to any of its owners, including the Mistress of the Sun King. Marie Antoinette and her husband had their lives ended by guillotine.
In 1792, during the Great French Revolution, the Blue Hope was stolen along with other jewels from the royal depository of Gard-Möbl. The further fate of the diamond remains unknown and has not been officially documented.
Perhaps, this was an act of revenge by the goddess Sita, whose statue was decorated with the 115-carat diamond before it was brought to Europe.
According to another thesis, the Hope Diamond was created as a result of recutting that very "blue crown diamond". The precious stone is now kept in the Museum of Natural History in the Smithsonian Institute. In 2008, scientists at the museum conducted a study and confirmed this assumption. But before appearing under the protection of bulletproof museum glass, the Hope Diamond had already managed to financially ruin an English duke and bring misfortune to the family who owns the Washington Post. Jewelers themselves did not keep the precious stone for long. The rumors about the stone's curse were partly started by jewelers. One of them, Harry Winston, the organizer of "diamond balls", donated the stone to the Museum of Natural History.
2. "The Sancy Diamond"
The Sancy Diamond, now kept in the Louvre, is another stone from the treasury of the French court stolen during the Great Revolution. This pale-yellow diamond, which is 55.23 carats, is now on display for tourists. This unusual stone has the shape of a teardrop and evokes admiration for its cutter's mastership. According to an assumption, the diamond was twice as large before it was polished.
There is no precise information about how the diamond got to Charles the Bold from East India in the second half of the 15th century. Various stories are related to the further travels of the gem to different European houses. At the end of the XVI century, its new owner, the French aristocrat Nicolas de Sancy, bought the diamond from a Turkish jeweler and used it for his career. His intention was cunning and simple. He lent the jewel to King Henry III in exchange for a high position in the state. However, the monarch did not live long, and the gem returned to its owner. By the way, legend has it that the servant who delivered the diamond to the king was killed in an attack along his way. But he managed to swallow the stone, and the king, confident in the devotion of all his servants, decided to autopsy the dead servant. Amazingly, his assumption was correct, and the stone was found in the servant's stomach!
The diamond received its current name Sancy at the beginning of the XVII century when it got to the treasury of the English court. The first French minister, Nicolas de Sancy, accredited the stone to King James I. Then, the diamond returned to France and was stolen from the protected treasury. Only half a century later, the diamond made it into the collection of Russian industrialist Pavel Demidov. At the beginning of the XX century, the new owners of the precious gem, the family of American industrialists, the Astorovs, sold the relic to the Louvre Museum in 1978. The cost of the transaction was one million dollars.
3. "The Orlov Diamond"
The name of this diamond cut in the shape of an "Indian rose" is associated with the name of Catherine II's favorite count, Grigory Orlov. There are two versions concerning how the 199.5-carat gem fell into the hands of the Russian Empress, and then into the scepter.
According to the first version, the pale greenish-bluish stone was a gift from Orlov during the celebration of the monarch's name day. According to the second thesis, the empress bought the diamond with state money since she was a lover of precious jewelry. To avoid the indignation of the courtiers and nobles over such waste (the purchase cost 400 thousand rubles), she asked the count to act out a scene showing it was an expensive gift.
Before getting to Europe and the Russian court, the diamond passed through the hands of an unskilled cutter who rubbed the diamond too much in the process of cutting. The original 400-carat stone had several muddy spots on it. Nevertheless, the diamond served as an eye of a deity statue in a temple in India. A French soldier stole it from the temple and sold it to an English captain. The diamond was later resold to a Jewish merchant and eventually got into the hands of Armenian Gregory Safras. Then it went to Catherine II.
Now the "Orlov" is stored in the Diamond Fund of Russia and is the largest in the collection of precious stones of historical significance.
The extraction of this 400-carat diamond from the Indian mines of Golconda was "stained" by the blood of the slave who stole it and was later killed at the hands of a more cunning deceiver. The stone was sold to Thomas Pitt, the governor of the fortress of St. George, who instructed a jeweler to process it. The polished diamond was then sold to Philip II of Orleans, regent of France. The precious property of the Bourbons was stolen together with other stones from Gard-Möbl in 1792. It returned only during the reign of Napoleon. The emperor used the diamond to decorate his sword. Today, the Regent Diamond adorns the Louvre collection and is on display for tourists.
5. "The Koh-i-Noor Diamond"
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Nobody knows for sure how old this expensive diamond is. The history behind this famous stone is surrounded by a huge number of legends. The precious gem belonged to the rulers of several states. Indian rajas and rulers of the Great Mughal dynasty wore the exquisite jewel; it was built into the Persian "Peacock Throne", and it was kept by Iranian and Afghan dynasties. Everybody believed in the magical power of the stone and linked their power to it. According to researchers, almost none of the 18 Koh-i-Noor diamond owners died in their own beds.
However, the bad reputation attributed to the beautiful diamond did not frighten the British royal court. At the end of the XIX century, the Koh-i-Noor was recut and reduced to 108.9 carats. Today the diamond is featured on the crown of Queen Elizabeth II.
Each diamond is beautiful in its own way. And despite the mysterious stories behind them, we can't but admire the power of nature to produce such minerals and the mastership of jewelers who bring stones to perfection.