The Blue Hope Diamond
5 October 2015 / Blog
The Blue Hope Diamond has fascinated and amazed for centuries. Like all natural diamonds, the Hope Diamond has been around for hundreds of millions of years; but its wild journey that brought it such fame began in the 17th century, when a wandering merchant named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier stole the gem off of the forehead of a sacred statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. Upon Taverniers return to France, King Louis XIV called Tavernier into court and took the diamond for his own. The Hope Diamond eventually fell into the possession of Marie Antoinette–but after her beheading the diamond was stolen and floated around criminal circles for over a hundred years, until an English jeweler named Henry Philip Hope (for whom the diamond is named) acquired the gem. The Hope Diamond was eventually sold, and in 1958 was donated to the Smithsonian Museum, where it resides to this day.