Hope Diamond is one of the largest and most well known diamonds in the world. Originating from modern day Guntur, it travelled across the world, changing many hands before it finally came to rest at the Smithsonian Museum in 1958. Here’s taking a look at some interesting facts about the Hope Diamond.
1. Unusually Big
The diamond was originally 116 carats and now it is 45.52 carats; still one of the largest in the world.
2. Mesmerising Blue
The Stone has a captivating blue colour, which is due to the traces of boron atoms present in it. The colour, precisely, is Fancy Dark Grayish Blue.
The stone is said to have been formed 1.1 billion years ago deep within the earth. It was mined in the Kollur mine in Guntur, in the Krishna river valley, Andhra Pradesh when it was under the rule of the Golconda Sultanate.
4. Various Names
The Hope diamond got it’s present name after it was owned by Henry Phillip Hope in 1830. The other names include Le Bijou du Roi (“the King’s Jewel”), Le bleu de France (“the Blue of France”) and the Tavernier Blue.
The stone is classified as a Type IIb diamond, which account for 0.1% of the naturally occurring diamonds. And has been determined to have clarity of VS1, with whitish graining. It is now a mix of both Oval and Cushion type diamonds.
The stone exhibits an unusually intense and brilliant red phosphorescence(‘glow-in-the-dark’ effect) after exposure to short-wave ultraviolet light. The red glow indicates that a different mix of boron and nitrogen is within the stone.
From 1653 to 1958, the stone changed many hands. Mostly royalty, and a few wealthy merchants. In all the cases it was either stolen, sold or bequeathed, hence the tale of the curse.
8. Changes Over Time
The originally mined stone was 112.5 Old French karats or 116 metric carats. It was recut over time to set into various pieces of jewellery by various owners. Prominent among them being King Louis XIV who cut it into a triangular-shaped 69 carat to set it onto a cravat pin.
The stone has been surrounded with a curse which is said to bring misfortune and tragedy to the owner or wearer. But facts suggest that the tale is a figment of imagination used to increase its value.
Recent technology enables people to create replicas using cubic zirconia. Many replicas are present in the world today and can purchased.