ANY WHY YOU SHOULDN'T BUY THEM
This beautiful grey-blue 45.52 carat diamond was mined in the 17th Century in Golconda, India. It was purchased as a rough stone by Jean Baptiste Tavernier who hot-footed it to the court of King Louis XIV and hocked it to him.
The Hope Diamond’s curse is that it’s as good for economic stability as a Prime Minister’s off-shore tax haven …who’d have thought it of a 1 inch lump of glass that costs billions of pounds?
The stone passed down the French line gradually corrupting the Royals by making them eat more truffles and buy more ivory backscratchers. The public grew increasingly ‘jelly‘ of the privileges enjoyed by the aristo-pigs until they couldn’t take it any longer and chopped the head off King Louis’ grandson (the imaginatively named King Louis XVI) and nicked the Hope Diamond.
The gemstone possessed a will of it’s own and longed to be the property of royalty again and so manipulated itself into the hands of King George IV (Hugh Laurie from Blackadder II), a legendary hedonist. Through him it realised it’s terrible curse by forcing him to rack up obnoxious debt via playing cards and buying socks and upon the King’s death in 1830 had to be flogged to settle his enormous tab.
From there it passed to Henry Philip Hope, for whom it was named, and it successfully ruined his and his families lives and reputations, again being sold to help pay off their massive red.
Next stop, Evalyn Walsh McLean, an American heiress and socialite. The diamond killed her son in a car crash, forced her daughter to overdose, made her husband have an affair and eventually die in a sanitarium and caused her family to sell The Washington Post newspaper to settle their… wait for it… crippling debts.
This shiny little nightmare was purchased by Harry Winston Inc. which I think is probably a professional front for a powerful wizard cos this guy saw the curse and had the good sense to immediately donate that hot potato to the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. where it now resides behind 25 feet of reinforced concrete and a team of ninjas.
The 67.50 carat diamond is actually a deep gray in colour but that doesn’t stop it’s heart being as black and cruel as the dead of night! Dug up in the 1800’s from Satan's own "kimberlite pipe", the legend tells of this then 195 carat stone being used as the eye of a Puducherry Brahma statue, the Hindu god of creation, wisdom, magic and cursing dudes who mess with his eyes.
The story goes that a disgruntled monk who’d had his fill of enlightenment and considered Nirvana a “been there, done that” situation plucked The Eye of Brahma (the much cooler other name this diamond goes by) before doing a runner to New Delhi where he planned to hock the diamond and use the cash to start a rock band.
The stone passed through the hands of history until it found it’s way, sometime in the 1940’s into the possession of the Russian Princess Nadezhda (Nadia) Orlov, whom the stone is named for. Little is known about the princess except she took one look at the Black Orlov and jumped off the roof of a building to her death. The stone passed through the Royal house into the possession of Princess Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky who did exactly the same thing! Either jumping off roofs was a new trend hitting Russia or the diamond was responsible... you decide.
Eventually it was purchased by Charles F. Winson who thought he was safe because he’s not a Russian chick. At some point he must have thought a dive off the roof of a building was a bad idea idea though because he divided the stone into three in an effort to break the curse.
The largest of the three diamonds harvested from the original, uncut stone was mounted as a brooch set with 108 other diamonds and suspended from a necklace set with 124 more diamonds… because that’s the secret to breaking diamond curses, you smother it in further diamonds. It retained the name The Black Orlov and has been displayed in London’s Natural History Museum.
This 105.6 carat fellow is understood to have been extracted from the Kollur mine is Golconda, India, the same place as The Hope Diamond… oooh! Maybe it’s the mine that’s cursed?! It’s name means “Mountain of Light” in Persian.
It is first referenced in history in the memoirs of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, the CEO of the Indian Mughal Empire. Babs claims that in 1306 the diamond was nicked from the Rajah of Malwa and at the time it weighed 739 carats which makes it about the size of a Ford Fiesta.
The curse this diamond employs is that it turns any man in it’s thrall into a homicidal maniac. Koh-i-Noor has been owned by Hindu, Mongolian, Persian, Afghan and Sikh rulers around the times that they were killing each other in huge numbers for possession of the diamond. Why were these guys so keen to snag the Mountain of Light? Because the Hindu’s prophesied that “he who owns Koh-i Noor will own the world“.
…with the footnote “but will also know all the worlds misfortunes. Only God or woman can wear it with impunity.“.
The diamond was acquired by the British in 1849 and being the wily bunch we are, we didn’t invoke the curse, we made sure that the diamond has only been worn by chicks ever since including Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra of Denmark, Queen Mary of Teck and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
It’s currently part of the crown jewels and is seen by millions in the Tower of London each year, however, the curse still lingers as the governments of India, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan have all tried to claim ownership and demanded it’s return in recent history.
© 2017 | ARTHUR READ
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