Hope Diamond’s history can be easily traced to a blue diamond named the Tavernier Blue, which was originally mined from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India, and was a crudely cut triangle shape of 112 3/16 carats (22.44 g). French merchant-traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier purchased it sometime in 1660 or 1661. According to legend, the Tavernier Blue was stolen from an eye of a sculpted idol of the Hindu goddess Sita, the wife of Rama,
the Seventh Avatara of Vishnu.
In 1668, Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France. Sieur Pitau, the court jeweller, cut it and produced a 67 1/8 carat (13.4 g) stone. The stone became known as the Blue Diamond of the Crown or the French Blue. It was set in gold and suspended on a neck ribbon for the King to wear on ceremonial occasions. In 1749, King Louis XV had it set on his pendant for the Order of the Golden Fleece. After his death, it fell into disuse.
When Louis XVI of France became king, he gave the diamond to Marie Antoinette to add to her collection of jewelry. During the French Revolution, while Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were held in prison, the pendant with the diamond was stolen on September 11, 1792, when six men broke into the house used to store the crown jewels. One of the robbers, cadet Guillot, took it to Le Havre along with the Gôte de Bretagne spinel and then to London where he tried to sell the jewels. In 1796, apparently seriously in debt, he handed the gem to Lancry de la Loyelle, who had Guillot put into prison for his trouble. There is no record of what had happened to the diamond after that.
The Hope diamond was recorded in the possession of a London diamond merchant Daniel Eliason in September 1812, which marks the earliest point that the exact history of the Hope Diamond can be definitively fixed. This diamond was generally believed to have been cut from the French Blue, a fact which was finally verified in 2005. It is often pointed out that the Hope Diamond came into recorded history almost exactly 20 years after the theft of the French Blue, just as the statute of limitations for the crime had expired.
The Hope Diamond fetched just $300,000 USD in 1949, the Hope Diamond was sold to New York diamond merchant Harry Winston
It is believed that it may have been acquired by King George IV of the United Kingdom, although there is no record of the ownership in the Royal Archives at Windsor. Read more about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Diamond
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