Famous Diamonds

Famous Diamonds are the historical gemstones that have crossed paths with many unique celebrities, the royals and other important figures throughout time and history.

Many of these gemstones such as, the Hope Diamond, the Cullinan I, Tiffany, and the Black Orlov are tributes to both human achievements and curses.

The Hope Diamond is the most mysterious of all the gemstones in the world. It has a curse attached to it. This gem was named after one of its owners named Henry Philip Hope. This beautiful blue gemstone is a 45.5-carat stone that brought everything from bankruptcy to death to its unfortunate owners.

Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean, a strong-headed and very wealthy American saw the Hope as her 'good luck charm'. She bought the gem in 1910, her misfortune began when her nine year old son died in a tragic car accident, suffered the suicide of her daughter and watched helplessly as her husband died in a mental institution.

So, whether the curse of the Hope is true or not, Mrs. McLean's untimely demise of her family happened while she had the gem in her possession. Mrs. McLean was the last private owner of the Hope Diamond.

In 1949, two years after Mrs. McLean's death, Harry Winston a jeweler, bought this royal diamond before presenting it to Washington's Natural Museum of Natural History ten years later.

It is a very popular exhibit at the Museum to this day. Researchers found that the origin of the Hope Diamond had apparently been cut from a larger stone called French Blue Diamond, which was once part of the crown jewels of France, and had disappeared in 1792 during the French Revolution. Today, new evidence confirms that the Hope Diamond was looted from Louis XVI.

I had the pleasure of going to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. many years ago. I saw the Hope Diamond and heard about the curse on it.

I was intrigued, this diamond was the most beautiful blue diamond I had ever seen in my life. I promised myself, that one day I'll return to the Smithsonian Museum to see it again. I'm still planning to take that trip one day.

Louis XIV

Photo of Louis XIV

The Great Star of Africa, known as the Cullinan I, is the largest rough diamond ever found in South Africa, 1905. It weighed about 3,106 carats or 0.6 kg (1 1/3 lb.), or some diamond experts have found this diamond to weigh about 3,500 carats.

It is the largest of the famous diamonds on Earth, but, the Space Diamond is the largest diamond in the galaxy, fore, it is 2,500 to 4,000 miles across and weighs 5 million trillion trillion pounds, I take it, this weigh of the Space Diamonds in pounds is also in carats. If so, that's 5 million trillion trillion carats. Wow! These are two hugh diamonds!

The Great Star of Africa is now at the head of the British Royal Scepter in the crown jewels. The pear-shaped is part of the regalia worn and carried by Queen Elizabeth II during her ceremonial duties. Tiffany Diamond is simply one of the most unique and spectacular diamond in the world. Although, the Tiffany Diamond is estimated to be one of the most valuable famous diamonds in the world, it is free for anyone to look at as they stroll down Fifth Avenue in New York City. It is currently on display at the flagship store in Manhattan.

The Tiffany Diamond is one largest fancy yellow famous diamonds ever discovered. The Tiffany is 128-carat, 90-faceted stone owned by the famous jewelry-house, Tiffany's since 1879.

In the early 1960's, the stunning setting, the 'Bird on the Rock' was designed for the Tiffany. This setting makes the Tiffany exquisitely rare, beyond price and is not for sale.

The famous Black Orlov Diamond has a legendary history of thefts and curses such as suicides associated with it, however, the incidents that could be proven were the thefts which occurred when the jewel was stolen from the Hindu Idol Brahma.

The Black Orlov was called The Eye of Brahma at the time it was stolen by a monk in the vicinity of Pondicherry, India.

The second rumored theft was said to be of the same diamond, but, it belonged to Catherine the Great. Her husband Prince Orlov purchased it as a gift for her. This diamond was also stolen from an idol in India. The two famous diamonds Black Orlov histories must have intertwined over time. The Black Orlov is said be a 195-carat uncut diamond. Once it belonged to the Russian Princess Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov (possibly Nadia Orlov). It is believed the royal family of Russia named Orlov lived on "the Black Lake" and bred horses known as the Black Orlov's.

So, the story of the Russian Princess Orlov owning this famous diamond is believable, even though, many sources said there never was a Russian Princess named Nadia Orlov.

The Black Orlov is supposed to have a curse of suicides attached to it also. Two former owners of the Orlov diamond were Princess Nadia Vygin-Orlov and Princess Leonila Galitsine Bariatinsky both leapt to their deaths in apparent suicides in 1947.

A diamond dealer named, J. W. Paris, who imported the Orlov to the USA, jumped to his death from one of New York's tallest building shortly after selling the diamond, fifteen years earlier before the suicides of the two princesses.

These deaths were never founded to be true nor proven, the Princess Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov (Nadia Vygin-Orlov) lived to be 90 years old, she died in France, 1988 and Princess Leonila Galitsine Bariatinsky was 102 years old when she died in Switzerland, 1918. The story about the dealer who jumped in New York was never found.

In the early 1950's, the Black Orlov, a dark steely grey stone cushion cut, 67-carat diamond was owned, valued at $150,000 and showed by Charles Winson.

The New York jeweler sold the diamond for $300,000 in 1969. The Black Orlov was exhibited in 1964 at the State Fair of Texas, as well as, other exhibitions at The Carnegie Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.

The diamond has been bought and sold many times since 1969. It was sold for $99,000 at Sotheby's and again by the auction house in 1995 for $1.5 million. It was bought in 2004 by the diamond dealer named, Dennis Petimezas.

He currently has this famous diamond on tour. He did research and claimed the above rumors of the "curse" on this diamond. The current "hype" the owner is promoting for the gem, is loaning it to be worn at the Oscars. There are many more famous diamonds that still need to be discovered or the lost ones found.

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