Fateful diamonds: the most "mystical" stones in history

Diamonds are not always best friends of girls and of the human race in general. Some gems have left a truly fatal mark on history!

Brilliant Hope

Brilliant Hope

Homeland jewels with the most, perhaps, tragic "biography" - India. A 112 carat blue diamond mined in the mines of Golconda (when history is silent) first decorated the deity in one of the Hindu temples. Then it was stolen and sold as sapphire to French merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. He realized that the treasure fell into his hands, and illegally brought the nugget to France, and in 1668 sold it to the French king Louis XIV. The court jeweler divided the gem in cutting into one large pear-shaped diamond weighing 69 carats (it was called “French blue”, “Blue crown diamond”) and several small ones.

As soon as the "sun king" became the owner of the treasure pendant, fortune turned away from the monarch: one after another his son and two grandchildren died.That Madame de Montespan lost the status of the royal mistress, only wearing a diamond at a secular reception at Versailles, her admirers also blame the black magic of the stone. The heir to the crown, Louis XV, brought the country to almost complete ruin, but the fatal diamond was hardly involved in this. But Louis XVI and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, were executed on the guillotine. The blue diamond disappeared in 1792, when the royal palace was robbed, a few months before the death of the couple.

In 1839, the “Blue Diamond of the Crown” in a different cut, which reduced its weight, became the property of the British aristocrat and financier Henry Phillip Hope, after whom he was renamed. Hope's son Francis squandered his father’s fortune, including the family diamond, and ended up in poverty (his wife left him, running off with her lover).

Replacing several more owners and bringing them a fatal setback in matters of heart, state and commercial, the Hope diamond in 1909 was bought by French jeweler Pierre Cartier. He made the jewel the main part of the platinum necklace - surrounded the blue stone of 45.52 carats of the “cushion” cut with 16 transparent and much smaller “brothers”, and the massive chain was also covered with diamonds, in the amount of 45 pieces.The lady of Washington, Evelyn Walsh Macklin, got the piece of jewelry and soon experienced a double tragedy - the death of her little son in a car accident and the suicide of her eldest daughter.

In 1949, Macklin's jewelry collection from his heirs bought the American jewelry house Harry Winston. His head, Harry Winston, in November 1958, resolutely transferred the scandalous diamond to the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington), where it is still kept.

Brilliant "Black Eagles"

Brilliant "Black Eagles"

The intriguing history of this “most damned in the world” stone is most likely the invention of a series of its owners: the more attention, albeit scandalous, attracts the jewel, the greater the chance to sell it expensive. Legend has it that in the early twentieth century, a black diamond weighing 195 carats, adorning one of the statues of a Hindu temple, was stolen. The priests imposed a curse of violent death on everyone in whose hands the “Eye of Brahma” falls (as they called the lost valuable stone). But did it come true?

In 1932, the diamond was brought to the United States. Ostensibly from France or Italy, where Princess Nadezhda Petrovna Orlova, who had fled from Russia after the October 1917 revolution, lived.The rumors differed: some said that after the sale of the stone Orlova had committed suicide — she jumped out of the window, others said that she had safely lived to a ripe old age, and historians argue whether such a princess existed at all. It was rumored that the dealer of the jewelry company JW Paris, who bought the stone, jumped from a skyscraper in Manhattan that same year (there are no confirming data about this incident in the archives), and the company itself was on the verge of ruin.

In 1950, the new owner of the stone, Charles F. Wilson, divided it into three unequal parts (as explained by the media in order to “lift the curse”). The largest “piece” - a black diamond weighing 67.5 carats - was cut “cushion” and the name “Black Eagles”. According to another version, there was no division of the stone, and it was “thinner” from 195 carats to 67.5, because black diamonds, due to the peculiarities of the structure — it is a nest of microcrystals, and not one large single crystal — it is very difficult to cut ( up to 90% of the mass of the nugget may be lost).

"Black Eagles" was framed first in a brooch, and then in a necklace with white diamonds. The decoration was exhibited several times in museums, passed from hand to hand, in no way showing a “fatal” character.In 2006, it went under the hammer at the Christie's auction for 352 thousand dollars (the buyer wished to remain anonymous).

Brilliant "Regent" ("Pitt")

Brilliant "Regent" ("Pitt")

In 1701, at a mine in Indian Golconda, the slave found a large diamond of 410 carats. Dreaming of returning to freedom, the poor fellow inflicted a wound on his thigh and hid the precious find under a bandage. The captain of the English merchant ship, to which the Indian turned for help, took the fugitive on board, but sank him into the sea before taking away the treasure. The treacherous skipper sold the diamond to an Indian merchant, but the money did not bring the thief and the killer of happiness: he squandered them and, plunging into card debts, hanged himself. The diamond was bought up by Thomas Pitt, a businessman of the East India Company, and in honor of this owner received the first name.

In 1717, the nugget was cut as a cushion (“pillow”) and sold to Philip II, Duke of Orleans, regent of the young king of France Louis XV. A transparent white diamond of 140.6 carats decorated the crown in which Louis was raised to the throne, but his second name, Regent, was acquired in honor of the duke. In the early autumn of 1792, when a revolutionary-minded crowd plundered the royal palace, Pitt disappeared, as did the Blue Crown Diamond (aka Hope's diamond). But, unlike the second, he returned to the treasury thanks to the efforts of agents of the secret royal service.

After the Great French Revolution of 1789-1799, the diamond adorned the hilt of the sword of Napoleon Bonaparte, then - the diadem of Empress Eugenia, the wife of Napoleon III. Now it is kept in the Louvre.

Diamond earrings Meshchersky

Diamond earrings Meshchersky

Gold earrings-candelabra with a scattering of blue diamonds were transferred to the family of princes Meshchersky from great-grandmother to great-granddaughter. For the adornment, the reputation of the "fidelity belt" was fixed: if his mistress cheated on the groom or her husband, it was a misfortune - a disease or even death. According to legend, tormented by jealousy, Alexander Pushkin asked for earrings for his wife Natalie. She put jewels on the ball, and nothing happened to her. Earrings returned to the owners, but the circumstances were not in favor of a jealous poet: he, as we know, was fatally wounded in a duel in early 1837. According to another, more realistic version, since the Goncharovs and Meshcherskys tied their relatives, families could easily take each other's jewelry for a while.

The last owner of the earrings was Princess Ekaterina Mescherskaya, nee Podborskaya. In 1896, she married Prince Alexander Meschersky, who was 48 years older than his wife.Relatives did not approve of this marriage and said that the commoner, the daughter of the estate manager, does not have the right to wear family jewels - they will punish the “impostor”. Perhaps this is what happened ... Marriage was short-lived: at the end of 1900, Prince Meshchersky died, and according to the will, all his wealth was divided among numerous relatives. The widow received only a part of what she expected, and the famous earrings were laid to put in order one of the family estates. Meshcherskaya lived a difficult life: one raised her illegitimate daughter Kitty (her lover left Catherine pregnant), in the Soviet times she was imprisoned and exiled, worked as a janitor and a weaver.



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