The Hope Diamond Most likely Is not Cursed, After All


The Hope diamond has passed through many hands in the years since it was created. Here, the diamond is displayed in a temporary setting, in the National Museum of Natural History. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images“The Hope diamond has handed via many fingers within the years because it was created. Right here, the diamond is displayed in a short lived setting, within the Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Pictures

While you think about the Hope diamond, a jewel that weighs greater than 45 carats and is rumored to be cursed, what do you see? Maybe a gem the dimensions of a pumpkin that provides off an eerie, crimson glow, with ominous music within the background? Its spooky backstory of unhealthy luck — which we’ll get to quickly — sort of makes you marvel why anybody would need the factor within the first place, regardless of its opulence.

However as hosts Holly Frey and Tracy V. Wilson inform us on this two-part episode of Stuff You Missed in Historical past Class, the Hope diamond’s measurement won’t be as dramatic as you assume. As Tracy places it, bringing a child to the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past (the place the jewel is housed) with the promise of seeing the most important diamond ever may disappoint the kid. "They are going to anticipate a diamond as huge as their head, and the Hope Diamond is a diamond as huge as a walnut," she explains.

At 25.6 millimeters (1 inch) lengthy and 21.78 millimeters (0.86 inch) extensive, the Hope diamond is not the most important diamond on the earth. (That distinction belongs to the Cullinan I, a 530-carat gem minimize from a good bigger stone.) However with its distinct blue forged and the creepy tales that observe its possession, it is in all probability probably the most well-known one.

However its fame is not precisely well-earned in relation to the myths surrounding it. It is claimed that an explorer took it from a Hindu temple and was subsequently cursed — and ripped aside by wolves — for stealing it. Others declare that Marie Antoinette sashayed via Versailles carrying it round her neck earlier than that neck was unceremoniously disengaged from her head. However neither disturbing story could be verified.

So how did the diamond tackle such myths? The spouse of one of many Hope diamond’s namesake homeowners (Could Yohe, spouse of Lord Francis Hope) and well-known jeweler Pierre Cartier each possessed the diamond at occasions and informed extravagant tales in regards to the tragedy that befell those that wore or owned it. However there’s one little wrinkle.

"Each of those individuals, who appeared to be the 2 primary sources of all these rumors, had a vested curiosity in telling a very good story," Tracy says. Each of them have been making an attempt to dump the diamond and make a revenue. So persevering with a story about how fascinating and mysterious the diamond’s historical past was? A superb gross sales approach, maybe, however one with little foundation in actuality.

Now, do not assume that each one the tales are fully fabricated. Tracy and Holly have discovered a number of tales of woe relating to Hope diamond homeowners, and persons are nonetheless fairly invested in believing the diamond’s curse is actual. And the Smithsonian Establishment can attest. "The museum truly continues to obtain letters in regards to the curse that blame the Hope diamond for principally any drawback [the United States has] ever had," says Holly.

So put in your greatest jewels, and tune in to listen to Tracy and Holly clarify the Hope diamond’s origins, myths and even the science behind the crimson glow (it is true!) that makes the diamond well-known on this two-part episode of Stuff You Missed in Historical past Class.

Now That is Cool

Why is the Hope diamond blue? A scientific evaluation of the gem collected atoms that confirmed the presence of boron, which provides the diamond its distinctive hue.


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