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History of the Hope Diamond

At Royal Design Fine Jewelry, we provide some of the world’s highest quality gemstones and precious metals for the men and women of Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding area. Diamonds are one of the most sought after gemstones in the world and for good reason. Their ability to capture the brilliance of light and their rarity create a stone that holds tremendous value. However, among these treasured gems occasionally emerges a single piece that will forever make its mark on the world. The Hope Diamond has one of the richest and most interesting histories ever bestowed upon a piece of jewelry. From the Court of Kings, through the hands of the world’s most notorious 20th century jewelers to the halls of the National Museum, the Hope Diamond has always brought with it good stories to tell. 

The Origin of the Hope Diamond

It’s estimated that the Hope Diamond was created inside the Earth over a billion years ago. It was once embedded in a deposit of kimberlite and was uncovered in an Indian mine at an unknown time. The stone contains a large amount of Boron, which creates the beautiful blue hue that has made the diamond so famous. In addition, the Boron content of the gemstone will glow an eerie red for up to a minute when exposed to UV light, which lent itself to rumors of a curse to all who owned it. 

The King’s Stone

The original stone was approximately 115 carats, and roughly cut into a triangular shape. A French merchant named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier acquired the stone sometime between 1640 and 1667 and brought it along with several other precious diamonds and gemstones to the court of Louis XIV for purchase. The stone was eventually recut and set in gold and used by King Louis to decorate a ceremonial blue ribbon. It became known as the French Blue, a beloved piece of the royal collection. King XV repurposed French Blue as the centerpiece of an luxuriously decorated pendant used for the Order of the Golden Fleece. It disappeared in 1792 during the French Revolution and eventually made its way to England, where it fell in the hands of a London jewelry merchant named Daniel Eliason in 1812. At this time, the exchange of ownership includes multiple theories, including a brief ownership by King George lV. By the late 1830’s it had become a part of the collection of Thomas Hope, a London banker, and is where the stone got its current name. 

A Final Home in America

At the turn of the 20th century, Francis Hope sold the Hope Diamond to London jeweler Adolph Weil, who in turn resold it to Simon Frankel in New York, where it was evaluated to be worth over $4 million. In subsequent years, it was at this time that the “curse” rumors began as Frankel, then the next owner Salomon Habib and eventually even famed French jeweler Pierre Cartier seemed eager to pass it along to someone else after running into difficulties. In 1912, it was acquired by New York socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean and remained in the family’s possession until 1949 when it was sold to Harry Winston as part of a large collection. Winston put the Hope Diamond on display for many years and eventually gave it as a gift to the National Museum of Natural History where it can be seen today. 

Find Your Perfect Diamond at Royal Design Fine Jewelry 

Is it time for to discover your next diamond treasure? Visit Royal Design Fine Jewelry in Atlanta, Georgia today. Our team of experienced specialists will help you pick out the perfect addition to your fine jewelry collection. 


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