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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan




And Other Cursed Diamonds And Gems


45.52 carats - The Hope Diamond--the world's largest deep blue diamond--is more than a billion years old. It formed deep within the Earth and was carried by a volcanic eruption to the surface in what is now India. Since the Hope Diamond was found in the early 1600s, it has crossed oceans and continents and passed from kings to commoners. It has been stolen and recovered, sold and resold, cut and recut. Through it all, the diamond's value increased. In 1958, Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Museum, and it now belongs to the people of the United States. Visit the Museum to learn more about the dramatic interactions between people and this diamond, and about its natural history. Visit the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals.

Richard Kurin: History and Curse of the Hope Diamond


They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. Yet, one such gem has been more foe to those it has touched, allegedly cursing some of them to their demise. From the diamond mines of India and royal palaces of Europe to the jewelers of Fifth Avenue and halls of the Smithsonian, Richard Kurin uncovers the mystery and the true story of the world's most infamous bauble. Kurin, director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, discussed and signed his book "Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem" as part of the Books and Beyond series hosted by the Center for the Book. A cultural anthropologist, Kurin has spent more than a decade learning about the history of the legendary gem. From its discovery in 17th-century India through its donation to the Smithsonian in 1958 by the jewelry firm of Harry Winston Inc., the Hope Diamond has been shrouded in mystery and steeped in intrigue. Kurin's groundbreaking work moves between ancient religion and modern magic, royal power and class rivalry, revenge and greed, to bring the story up to the present.

Cursed objects are generally supposed to have been stolen from their rightful owners or looted from a sanctuary. The Hope Diamond is supposed to bear such a curse, and bring misfortune to its owner. The stories behind why these items are cursed vary, but they usually are said to bring bad luck or to manifest unusual phenomena related to their presence.

Fast Facts: Hope Diamond 45.52 carats VS1 Dark blue in color Size: 21.78 mm wide, 25.60 mm long, 12.00 mm deep After exposure to ultraviolet light it phosphoresces red (most other blue diamonds phosphoresce light blue) Surrounded by 16 white diamonds plus an additional 45 white diamonds which make up the necklace chain

Color, Cut, Clarity, Carat and Cursed?

"In the diamond business, we have the four C's: cut, clarity, carat and color. Some people believe the Black Orlov has a fifth C: curse. But it's really a stone of magnificent beauty, not a blight. The former Miss Pennsylvania, Victoria Bechtold, even wore it on her wedding day a few years ago, and it's been exhibited internationally,"said Donald A. Palmieri, President of Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL) of New York City, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT)

stone, a so-called black diamond (actually, a very dark gun-metal color).

Regrettably most accounts of the early history of this diamond must be treated with the utmost skepticism.It has been stated that the stone, also known as The Eye of Brahma, weighed 195 carats in the rough and was then set in an idol near Pondicherry before being owned for a time in the middle of the eighteenth century by the Russian Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov. But firstly, there is no evidence of black diamonds being found in India, let alone one of such size. Secondly, it is unlikely that a black diamond would have been retained, since black is generally not considered an auspicious color among Hindus. Thirdly, there never was a prince or princess of the aforementioned name - all Princes Orlov descend from the brothers of Catherine the Great's lover, Count Grigori Grigorievitch Orlov. Fourthly, the cushion shape of the diamond indicates that it was probably polished in the last century.

The stone has been exhibited widely, including at the American Museum of Natural History in 1951, the Wonderful World of Fine Jewelry & Gifts at the 1964 Texas State Fair, Dallas, and the Diamond Pavilion in Johannesburg in 1967. The Black Orlov was owned by Charles F. Winson, New York City gem dealer, who valued it at $150,000. It is mounted in a modern diamond-and-platinum necklace. In 1969, the stone was sold for $300,000, then resold in 1990 at Sotheby's for $99,000


by Kevin Sheehan

The Hope Diamond is a large (45.52 carat), deep blue diamond, currently housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. The diamond is legendary for the misfortunes it supposedly visits upon its possessors. The Hope Diamond appears a brilliant blue to the naked eye because of trace amounts of boron within the diamond. The Hope Diamond exhibits red phosphorescence under ultraviolet light and is classified as a Type IIb diamond.

The Hope Diamond's history can be 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 jewelery. 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 spinel 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.

Hope Diamond originally came from French crown
Computer analysis proves it was cut from King Louis XIV's 'Blue'

WASHINGTON - Researchers using computer analysis have traced the origin of the famed Hope Diamond, concluding that it was cut from a larger stone that was once part of the crown jewels of France.

An examination in December 1988 by Graduate Gemologists of the Gemological Institute of America, shows the diamond to weigh 45.52 carats (9.104 g) and it is described as "Fancy dark grayish-blue". The stone exhibits a unique delayed fluorescence; like many other gemstones, it emits a dim light under ultraviolet light, but when the light source is removed, the diamond produces a brilliant red phosphorescence. The clarity was determined to be VS1, with whitish graining present. The cut was described as being "cushion antique brilliant with a faceted girdle and extra facets on the pavilion." The dimensions in terms of length, width, and depth are 25.60mm × 21.78mm × 12.00mm.

A French connection had been suspected for the Hope, but the new study shows just how it would have fit inside the larger French Blue Diamond and how that gem was cut, Smithsonian gem curator Jeffrey Post explained.

The deep blue Hope Diamond is the centerpiece of the gem collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, famed for its claimed history of bad luck for its owners. It's been good fortune for the museum, though, drawing millions of visitors.

The Hope Diamond is part of the National Gem Collection in the Smithsonian Institution, in the National Museum of Natural History. At first, it was placed inside a glass-fronted safe in a gem hall. In 1962, it was lent to an exhibition of French jewellery in Paris and in 1965 to South Africa to the Rand Easter Show. After renovations in 1997 to the gems exhibit were completed, the diamond was moved into its own display room, adjacent to the main gem exhibit, where it rests on a rotating pedestal inside of a cylinder made of 3-inch thick bullet-proof glass. The National Gem Collection is exhibited within the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. The Hope Diamond is the most popular jewel on display.


According to Smithsonian Curator, Jeffrey Post: "The curse is a fascinating part of the story of the Hope Diamond that has helped to make the diamond as famous as it is. But as a scientist, as a curator, I don't believe in curses.

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.

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.

The Cursed Diamond

It is also claimed (falsely, as the image above attests) that it is not possible to take a clear photograph of the Hope Diamond.

The first stories about the supposed curse of the Hope Diamond surfaced in 1909. In the June 25 issue of The Times an article written by the Paris correspondent listed a number of supposed owners who had come to an ignoble end.

According to legend, Tavernier stole the diamond from a Hindu idol. The diamond was one of the two eyes of the idol, and when the priests noticed it was missing, they placed a curse on whoever owned the diamond. One reason that this is not accepted is that the Hope's sister has not been found. The legend claimed that Tavernier died of fever soon after, and that his body was torn apart by wolves (but the historical record shows that he actually lived to 84). The Hope Diamond was blamed for the fall from the king's favor of madame Athenais de Montespan and French finance minister Nicolas Fouquet, the beheadings of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the rape, mutilation and beheading of the Princesse de Lamballe. The legend added fictitious persons: diamond cutter Wilhelm Fals (killed when his son Hendrik stole it); Hendrik Fals (suicide); Francois Beaulieu (starvation after he sold it to Daniel Eliason).

Simon Frankel (alleged to be in financial difficulties) had supposedly sold it to Jacques Colot (suicide); the next owner, Russian prince Kanitowski, who supposedly lent it to French actress Lorens Ladue, who he later shot, and was later himself killed by revolutionaries; jeweler Simon Montharides (killed with his family) and Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid (the diamond was blamed for his forced abdication) who had supposedly killed various members of his court for the stone. There is no evidence that most of these people ever existed.

May Yohe blamed the Hope for her misfortunes. In July 1902, months after Lord Francis divorced her, she told police in Australia that her lover, Putnam Strong, had abandoned her and taken her jewels. Incredibly, the couple reconciled, married later that year, but divorced in 1910. On her third marriage by 1920, she persuaded film producer George Kleine to back a 15-episode serial The Hope Diamond Mystery, which added more fictitious characters to the tale. It was not successful. In 1921, she hired Henry Leyford Gates to help her write The Mystery of the Hope Diamond, in which she starred as Lady Francis Hope. The film added more characters, including a fictionalized Tavernier, and added Marat among the diamond's "victims". She also wore her copy of the Hope, trying to generate more publicity to further her career.

Lord Francis Hope married Olive Muriel Thompson in 1904. They had three children before she died suddenly in 1912, a tragedy that has been attributed to The Curse.

In the beginning of the 20th century the Hope was purchased by the McLean family and soon after, their daughter committed suicide and their nine-year-old son died in a car accident. Mr. McLean got really depressed and died months later in a mental institution in 1941. Evalyn McLean had wanted her jewelry to go to her grandchildren. But in 1949, two years after her death, her jewelry was put on sale in order to settle debts from her estate.

Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean ( wearing the Hope Diamond with the McLean Diamond (31.26 Carats) and Star of the East (94.8 Carats) attached.


Evalyn Walsh McLean added her own tales, including that one of the owners was Catherine the Great. McLean would bring the Diamond out for friends to try on, including Warren G. Harding and Florence Harding. McLean often strapped the Hope to her pet dog's collar while in residence at Friendship, in northwest Washington D.C.. There are also stories that she would frequently misplace it at parties, and then make a children's game out of finding the Hope.

The collections of the National Postal Museum, which opened in 1993, include an inverted stamp and one honoring the Smithsonian, a romantic airmail portrait, mementos of a postal crime, and the package that brought the Hope diamond from New York to the Institution.


Hope Family

The diamond next resurfaced in the gem collection of Henry Philip Hope in 1824. He had it set on a brooch, which he sometimes lent to Louisa Beresford, the wife of his brother Henry Thomas Hope, to host society balls. After Henry Philip Hope died in 1839, his three nephews fought in court for ten years over his inheritance until Henry Hope acquired the gems, including the Hope Diamond. It was then put on display in the Great Exhibition of London in 1851 and Paris Exhibition Universelle in 1855, but was usually kept in a bank vault.

When Henry died on December 4, 1862, his wife Adele inherited the gem. At her death on March 31, 1884, it passed to her grandson Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton Hope, the son of Henry and Adele's daughter, Henrietta, and Henry Pelham-Clinton, the sixth Duke of Newcastle. Francis, who had to add one additional Hope to his name, received his legacy in 1887. However, he had only a life interest to his inheritance, meaning he could not sell any part of it without court permission.

On November 27, 1894, he married his mistress, American actress May Yohe. She claimed she had worn the diamond at social gatherings (and had an exact replica made for her performances), but he claimed otherwise. Lord Francis lived beyond his means, and it eventually caught up with him. In 1896, his bankruptcy was discharged, but, as he could not sell the Hope Diamond until he had the court's permission, his wife supported them. In 1901, he was free to sell the Hope, but May ran off with Putnam Strong, son of former New York City mayor William L. Strong. Francis divorced her in 1902.

The diamond was sold for £29,000 to Adolf Weil, a London jewel merchant. Weil later sold the stone to U.S. diamond dealer Simon Frankel, who took it to New York. There, it was evaluated to be worth $141,032 (equal to £28,206 at the time). In 1908, Frankel sold the diamond to Salomon Habib in Paris for $400,000. It was presented in an aborted auction on June 24, 1909, alongside other possessions of Habib to settle his debts. Habib sold the Hope Diamond to Paris jewel merchant Rosenau for a sum equal to $80,000. In 1910, Rosenau sold it to Pierre Cartier for 550,000 francs.

Cartier re-set the stone and in 1911 sold it to U.S. socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean, who initially rejected it but afterwards wore it at every social occasion she organized. When she died in 1947, she had willed the diamond to her grandchildren, though her property would be in the hands of trustees until the eldest had reached 25 years of age, which would have meant at least 20 years in the future. However, the trustees gained permission to sell her jewels to settle her debts, and in 1949 sold them to New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

Winston exhibited the Hope Diamond in his "Court of Jewels", a tour of jewels around the United States, and various charity balls over the years but did not sell it. In August of 1958, the diamond was exhibited in the Canadian National Exhibition. He also had the bottom facet cut to increase the diamond's brilliance and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution on November 7, 1958, sending it through U.S. Mail in a plain brown paper bag. Winston never believed in any of the tales regarding the curse, and died on December 28th, 1978, of a heart attack at the age of 82.


'Cursed' Diamond Show Closes After Police Tip-Off
November 23 2005

Priceless gems, a museum, a police tip-off and even a curse... this sounds like a Scooby Doo cartoon plot, but is in fact a serious news story. Read on to find out more...

Police advised the Natural History Museum to close down their 'Diamonds' exhibition today after finding out that criminals were planning to target the show.

The exhibition showed off some of the world's most rare, valuable and beautiful diamonds, including this amazing pink one.

Known as 'The Steinmetz Pink' this diamond took almost two years to cut and is the world's third largest diamond.

© The Steinmetz Diamond Group.

The Metropolitan Police said:

"We have received information that leads us to believe that criminals were planning to target this exhibition."

They advised that the exhibition should be shut down immediately to make sure that museum staff, museum visitors and the diamonds were kept safe.

The museum's director, Dr Michael Dixon, said:

"The Museum's priority is the safety and security of our visitors and staff. Based on police advice, the only responsible course of action in this situation was to close the exhibition."

The exhibition is closed for good, more than three months before it was meant to end.

This beautiful pear-shaped diamond was one of the stars of the show. It's described as the 'world's largest internally and externally flawless diamond' and is called the 'De Beers Millenium Star'.

© De Beers LV Ltd.

What about the curse? Well, strangely enough, at the end of September a diamond called 'The Black Orlov' was added to the exhibition. For many years people have believed The Black Orlov to be cursed... could this have something to do with the exhibition's bad luck?!

The Black Orlov is a 67.50-carat cushion-cut stone. The diamond was discovered in India in the early 1800s, when it weighed 195 carats. It was allegedly cursed " as were all its future owners " when a monk removed the gem from the eye of the idol of Brahma at a shrine near Pondicherry in India. In an attempt to escape the curse, the diamond was re-cut into three separate stones, which have since been in the possession of a succession of private owners. The 67.5car stone known today as the Black Orlov is set in a 108-diamond brooch suspended from a 124- diamond necklace. When the diamonds exhibition closes in February, the necklace will travel to California where a star, will wear it to the 2006 Oscars ceremony.

Mr Petimezas said yesterday he had never felt nervous about owning the stone as there had been no trouble associated with it for half a century. 'I've spent the past year trying to discover everything I can about the stone's melodramatic history and I'm pretty confident that the curse is broken.'

Black diamonds are very rare and get their colour from the presence of tiny mineral traces, mainly the iron-oxide minerals magnetite and haematite. Only one in 10,000 diamonds mined is coloured.

This dark steely grey stone is a cushion cut, 67 carat diamond. The Black Orlov has been exhibited at several exhibitions including the State Fair of Texas in 1964, The Carnegie Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.

When Charles Winson owned the gem he valued it $150,000. The New York jeweler began showing the black diamond in the early 1950's. In 1969 Winson sold it for $300,000. It has since been bought and sold several times. The latest being at Sotheby's in 1990 for $99,000 and again in 1995 by the auction house for for $1.5 million.

The history of the stone has been shrouded in mystery. Legend is that once the black diamond was called The Eye of Brahma. It was supposedly an uncut stone of 195 carats. This stone was set into an idol in the vicinity of Pondicherry, India and stolen by a monk. Some say that black is a bad luck color for Hindus and they would never have put a black stone on an idol. Research shows that in the Hindu belief of the 3 eyes - one is the sun and one is the moon, on opposite sides of the head. The sun represents the light and the moon, the dark. So it may have been that a black diamond would have been used for the "moon eye."

Back to our Black Orlov Diamond - legend also says that it once belonged to the Russian Princess Nadia Orlov. Many sources disregard this by saying there never was a princess by that name.

What I have found is that there WAS a Russian Princess by the name of Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov. Now the familiar name Nadia is often associated with the more formal Nadezhda. So, there is possibility.

Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov fled Russian after the revolution and may have sold jewels to fund the journey - as many of the nobility did. Many jewels were being sold at the time of the Russian Revolution.

I would also like to put forward my theory that the Orlov family had estates on "the Black Lake" and also bred horses known as Black Orlov's. It doesn't seem a stretch that the Black Orlov may have well indeed belonged to a Russian Princess Orlov.

It should be noted that another large diamond, known as The Orlov, was purchased by Prince Orlov as a gift for Catherine the Great. This diamond also has a legend of being stolen from an idol in India. Perhaps the history of the 2 Orlov diamonds became muddled over time.


Today unsubstantiated rumors of a curse on the Black Orlov Diamond are being spread. The owner and diamond dealer who purchased the black diamond in 2004, Dennis Petimezas, currently has the diamond on tour. He "says" he has researched the diamond and claims:

"In 1947 Princess Nadia Vyegin Orlov and Princess Leonila Galitsine Bariatinsky - both former owners of the Black Orlov - leapt to their deaths in apparent suicides. Fifteen years earlier, J.W. Paris, the diamond dealer who imported the stone to the USA, jumped from one of New York's tallest buildings shortly after concluding the sale of the jewel."

No such events can be found however. Princess Leonilla Bariatinska lived to the ripe old age of 102, d -1918 in Switzerland. And the Princess (Nadia) Nadezhda Petrovna Orlov lived to be 90 years, d - 1988 in France. We can find no mention anywhere of a jeweler who jumped in New York.

One can only suppose (until such time as concrete evidence can be shown) that the current "hype" by the owner of the Black Orlov is to promote his loaning it be worn at the Oscars.

The world's most famous black diamond, the 67.5 carat "Black Orlov," will be sold in a public auction in October. The historic gem stone is accompanied by authentication papers - and an alleged curse.

"At least three former owners took their own lives, including two Russian princesses. However, I'm happy to say the stone's current owner is alive and well in Pennsylvania," said Donald A. Palmieri, President of Gem Certification and Assurance Lab (GCAL) of New York City, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT). GCAL certified the authenticity of the huge, cushion-shaped Black Orlov diamond.

The so-called Black Orlov or 'Eye of Brahma' stone is taking its place alongside other world-famous gems including the De Beers Millennium Star and the Steinmetz Pink in an exhibition on diamonds at the Natural History Museum in London.

The show has provoked controversy after claims that Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana were being forcibly removed from their lands for diamond mining. De Beers, the diamond giant which is sponsoring the exhibition, has denied the allegations.

The Black Orlov is being lent as a late addition to the exhibition by Dennis Petimezas, a diamond dealer from Pennsylvania, who bought it for an unspecified sum last year. 'I saw an image of the Black Orlov about 30 years ago in California, where I was studying. It was the first time I had seen a black diamond and I became enamoured of it. I was captivated by it,' he said.

'I always read anything about it when its name cropped up and about a year and a half ago, I was visiting a colleague and, lo and behold, it was on his desk.' He persuaded his friend to contact the owner who, after six months of negotiations, agreed to sell.

The Four C's And A Fifth

Color Diamond color is graded on a scale of the alphabet, using letters D through Z. The letters A, B, and C aren't used. This is because when the Gemological Institute of America invented the scale they wanted to disassociate it from jewelry stores that used their own color grade scales. The colors D, E, and F are considered to be completely colorless. D is of course, the best. Some famous diamonds are actually leaning towards the Z end of the scale but aren't quite "Fancy colored", like the faint yellow 55-carat Sancy Diamond. The largest known D-color diamond in the world is the Centenary, which weighs 273.85 carats. The second largest is probably the Millennium Star, which weighs 203.04 carats. Some diamonds do not fit onto the scale, such as fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds occur in every color of the rainbow. The rarest colors are red and purple, and combinations of those two colors. Yellow and brown are the most common color of diamond, but colorless is the most popular as far as jewelry is concerned. (Colored diamonds are very gradually appearing in more and more jewelry stores as they become more well-known.) Blues and greens are very rare, especially naturally colored stones. Some lightly colored diamonds (light light pink, light light blue, ect.) are irradiated to make their color more intense. This means that low fields of radiation are beamed into the cut and polished stone, darkening the outer part of the stone all the way around. The process is permanent and professionally accepted in the diamond industry. Probably the largest irradiated diamond is the Deepdene, a 104.88-carat golden yellow cushion shaped stone.

The Color Scale Terms for Distinct Colors
Very Light*
Fancy Light
Fancy Intense
Fancy Vivid
*May fall into the lower end of the D-Z scale.

This is the color scale for brown diamonds with no secondary colors.
There are essentially 7 degrees of color intensity for brown.

The color scale for colorless to near-colorless diamonds.

A natural fancy colored diamond will cost you much much more than an irradiated one. Such well known diamonds as the Hope, the Dresden Green, the Tiffany Yellow, the Conde Pink, and Sultan of Morocco, the Transvaal Blue, the Wittelsbach, the Agra, and the Great Chrysanthemum are all very very unique because they were not irradiated. One remarkable stone, the Dresden Green, stands out amoung the naturals. It is the largest green diamond in the world at 40.70 carats. The fact it is an historic diamond, quite large and a natural green color with a slight blue overtone makes it virtually priceless. The Hope is also very unusual for the same reasons, but much more famous. The stone was originally a rather flat, blocky 110-carat rough. It was cut into a triangular pear of 68 carats, and then again into the 45.52-carat cushion cut it is today. The Conde Pink is a pear shaped 9.01-carat pink stone once owned by Louis XIII, also a naturally colored diamond. In January, 2002, I received an email from Terry J. Murray, in which he told me the following about a red diamond that had been auctioned off at Christies Auction House: "A rectangular-cut fancy red diamond of 0.73 carats sold for $536,000 per-carat." This was in a May 2nd, 2001 press release on the site. Thanks Terry! :)

In 1988, Sotheby's Auction House also sold a round, 0.90-carat, VS2 clarity, vivid green of natural color for $663,000 to an American collector. The per-carat price was over $736,000. This per-carat price is second to the 0.95-carat Hancock Red Diamond that sold also at Sotheby's for $880,000 (or $926,315 per-carat) on April 28, 1987. The stone is rumored to have been bought by a man representing the Sultan of Brunei, who is said to have one of the largest colored diamond collections in the world. All in all, a colored diamond is going to cost more than a colorless one, but colorless diamonds will probably always be more popular in the market.

Clarity Diamond clarity is measured on a scale of I3 to FL. These are short for Imperfect 3 and Flawless. I3 (imperfect, eye visible inclusions), I2 (imperfect, eye visible inclusions), and I1 (imperfect, eye visible inclusions). I3 is the worst one the scale. It's so included that it looks like there is a cottonball trapped inside the diamond. Then higher up on the scale is SI2 (slight inclusions), and SI1 (slight inclusions). Many SI diamonds that are finely cut may look alot better than their clarity calls for. VS2 and VS1 are the next on the scale, standing for very small inclusions. Both the Hope and the Tiffany Yellow Diamond are of VS1 in clarity. VVS1 and VVS2 stand for very very small inclusions. The 137-carat Light of Peace is a VVS1 in clarity and a D in color.

IF stands for internally flawless, and then FL, which stands for flawless. In your everyday jewelry store, an interally flawless diamond is unusual. D, E, and F-color diamonds are fairly common, especially smaller ones. A combination of D-color and Internally Flawless is rare, and therefore more expensive. The two largest faceted D-Internally Flawless diamonds that I know of are the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond and the 203.04-carat Millenium Star Diamond. The largest Internally Flawless diamond is the Incomparable, which is a 407-carat Fancy Brownish-Yellow "triolette" shape. Flawless diamonds are quite rare. The highest grade one usually sees is Interally Flawless. You could search the world for a Flawless diamond but there wouldn't be much point -- an Internally Flawless would essentially be just as good. The only difference is an Internally Flawless diamond is allowed to have 'naturals', which are unpolished surfaces of the original diamond crystal still remaining on the finished gem. They are usually small and hidden from view on the pavilion side of the stone, up near the girdle. They tend to have a glassy (but not polished) look, sometimes showing 'trigons', which are triangular depressions characteristic of many diamond crystals. As long as that aren't visible in the face-up diamond, they don't affect the clarity grade. However, they can't be present in a diamond for it to receive a Flawless grading.

Cut There are many many different types of diamond cuts. The most common is the round brilliant, which has 57 facets. There are several very common variations on the round brilliant - the oval, the marquise, some cushion cuts, and the pear. All of which, in standard form, have 57 facets. Other very common diamond cuts are the heart, the step, and the princess. The sky is the limit as far as diamond cuts go. The last I heard, there are 255 registered diamond cuts.

However, the ones I just mentioned are the most common because some exotic cuts can waste rough stone. Heart cuts have become very popular the past few years, partly because of the booming diamond industry, and the film "Titanic", which featured a large heart cut blue sapphire that was thrown into the ocean. The movie prop was fake. However, after the film's release, a jewelry company faceted a heart cut sapphire identical to the stone in the film, then mounted it in a necklace to match. People often confuse the Hope Diamond and the 'Heart of Ocean' - both were blue, and both were surrounded by smaller white stones. However, one is a heart cut and the other a cushion, and the 'Heart of the Ocean' is considerably larger than the Hope Diamond. I am perpetually irritated by people confusing the Hope with the 'Heart of the Ocean.'

Carat-Weight Carat weight is the most deciding factor as to the value of a diamond. A well cut diamond of SI1 clarity and a weight of 4.00 carats would be worth alot more than one of the same clarity, but weighing 1.60 carats and VS2 clarity.

The largest faceted diamond in the world is the Golden Jubilee, weighing 545.67 carats. It is a Fancy Brownish-Yellow color and "fire rose cushion cut." It is unusual also because it has a certain type of rare color banding. The second largest faceted diamond in the world is the Star of Africa, also known as the Cullinan I. It weighs 530.20 carats and is a pear shape with 74 facets. The third largest diamond in the world is the Incomparable. It is a golden yellow-orange color, pear shaped, and weighs 407 carats. The fourth largest faceted diamond in the world is the Cullinan II. It was cut from the same stone as the Star of Africa - aka Cullinan I. It weighs 317.40 carats and is a cushion cut.

Up until 2001, the most valuable diamond (price-per-carat) was the 0.95-carat fancy red Hancock Red that had been sold at auction at Christies, NYC, for $880,000 ($926,315 per-carat). The stone was apparently purchased by a buyer representing the Sultan of Brunei, who reputedly has one of the largest collections of fancy colored diamonds in the world. I am not exactly sure which diamond holds the world record for the highest price per-carat, but I am almost certain its no longer held by the Hancock Red. Time will tell!


Excerpts from http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/famousdiamonds.html

The Golden Jubilee is the largest faceted diamond in the world, weighing 545.67 carats. The stone was designed by Gabi Tolkowsky, who also designed the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, which is the largest D-Flawless diamond in the world. The Golden Jubilee was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 for his Golden Jubilee - the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Prior to this event, the stone was simply known as the Unnamed Brown.

The government of Thailand reported the stone as being a large golden topaz so as not to irritate the citizens -- Thailand has been in financial trouble for some years now, and the news of the purchase of the massive diamond would only make the popularity of the government drop.

Diamond Facts

The First Diamond Engagement Ring

Ancient Romans would give the blushing bride a truth ring. The ring would be placed on the third finger of the left hand. This tradition stemmed from the Egyptians belief that the vein from this finger led straight to the heart.

In the 14th century wealthy Europeans had their wedding rings set with jewels, somewhat like modern engagement rings. It was 1477 that the modern engagement came into being, Emperor Maximilian gave a diamond engagement ring to his fiancé Mary of Burgundy. It was in the 19th century with the diamond rush in South Africa the diamond engagement ring came into its own.
In the 1930's the now famous slogan " A Diamond is Forever" was created.
The earliest written referance to rings as love tokens is in 2BC in a work by the Roman playwright Plautus.

World’s Largest Polished Diamond
The largest polished diamond is the Golden Jubilee diamond. Weighing 545 carats, the yellow diamond was presented to Thailand’s King Bhumibal Adulyadej in 1996, to commemorate his 50 years of leadership. The diamond was mounted on a royal scepter and used as part of Thailand’s Crown Jewels.

Other polished diamonds of impressive stature are:

Weight (in carats)

Cullinan I

Yellow Brown

Cullinan II



De Beers
Light Yellow

Red Cross
Square Brilliant

Millenium Star

World’s Largest Rough Diamond

The world’s largest documented rough diamond is the Cullinan. Weighing 3,106.75 carats (0.62 kilograms). Named after Sir Thoms Cullinan, who owned the South African mine that found the stone in 1905.

The stone was later cut into two smaller, polished stones; the Great Star of Africa, which weighs 530.20 carats, and the slightly smaller Lesser Star of Africa, which weighs 317.4 carats. Additionally 104 smaller stones were made, each being nearly flawless in both color and clarity. The Great Star of Africa currently rests in the Tower of London.

Other rough diamonds of impressive stature are:

Weight (in Carats)
Country of Origin

South Africa

Star of Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone


Great Mogul

Woyie River
Sierra Leone

Presidente Vargas

South Africa

South Africa

South Africa


The Most Infamous Diamond in the World

The diamond known thought the world for its infamous curse is the fabled Hope Diamond, a 45.52 carat steel blue stone, which is thought to be cursed, bringing bad fortune to all who possess it. It was first unearthed in India, where it was polished and placed in the eye of an idol in a temple on the Coleroon River in India. The legend began in the days before the French Revolution, as Marie Antoinette and Princess de Lamballe both possessed the diamond and were both executed at the guillotine. It was later purchased, in the mid-1880’s, by Henry Thomas Hope, a British banker, who bequeathed it to a descendant, Lord Francis Pelham Clinton Hope, upon his death. Lord Hope later went bankrupt and lost the diamond, which later resurfaced in the court of Abdul Hamid II, the Sultan of Turkey and Caliph of Israel. He gave it to his wife Subaya, who was later executed. Mrs. Evalyn McLean bought the stone in 1911. After her death in 1949, Harry Winston bought the stone as part of the McLean collection and donated it to the United States of America.back

The Oldest Diamond in the World

The oldest diamond is generally considered to be the Briolette of India. Given to Eleanor of Auitaine by Louis VII of France in the 12th century and to Diane de Poitiers by Henry II in the 16th century, the 90.38 carat diamond went unseen for hundreds of years until 1950, when an Indian maharaja sold it to Harry Winston, a New York jeweler. Mr. Winston sold it to Mrs. I. W. Killam and then bought it back after her death 10 years later.

The Most Expensive Piece of Jewelry Ever Created for a Movie

The diamond necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in "Moulin Rouge". Designed by Sydney, Australia-based artist Stefano Canturi, it radiates with 1,308 diamonds, weighing 134 carats, set on a white gold necklace.

The Highest Price that Anyone Has Ever Paid for a Diamond on the Open Market

In 1995, a sheik from Saudi Arabia paid $16,548,750 for a pear-shaped, flawless, 100.1-carat "D" diamond from Sotheby’s

Top Ten Jewel Thief Movies

- Charade - Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant
- To Catch a Thief - Grace Kelly and Cary Grant
- Jewel Robbery - Kay Francis and William Powell
- 15 Maiden Lane - Cesar Romero and Claire Trevor
- Desire - Marlene Dietrich
- Diamonds - filmed in London & Tel Aviv 1975
- A Fish Called Wanda - John Cleese and Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin
- The Great Muppet Caper
- The Pink Panther - Peter Sellers, David Niven
- Retrun of the Pink Panther
- Oceans Eleven

More cursed stories here:


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Cursed by the devil. Many Americans believe that serious forces are working against them? Do You?

Touched by evil, or just cursed by Satan? Many now a days believe that great demonic forces are at work mocking them every step of the way.

From Tarot Card Readers on Jackson Square in New Orleans to Mediums with crystal balls in New York store fronts, palmist and psychics and tea leave readers and coffee ground seers in California, perhaps on the phone or internet... How many people have heard they are cursed by an enemy or from some wrong they have committed, or from just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Should we believe it? Or should we move on and live our life untouched by the believing in the malediction we are rendered.

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