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What Is The Most Famous Gemstone In History?

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The value of jewellery is in so many ways subjective and goes far beyond the precious metals the piece is made from and the precious stones that are embedded into it.

The value of a piece of Shaun Leane jewellery comes not only from its material components but from its craftsmanship and the sentimental value that comes from it. Jewellery tells a story, and arguably one of the most famous (or infamous) pieces of jewellery is the Hope Diamond.

Quite possibly the biggest and most expensive diamond in the world, the first person that is known to have obtained it is merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1666, although it is quite possible that he stole it or ordered it stolen.

He took the uncut stone (known as the Tavernier Blue) to Paris, where it was cut fairly crudely and sold to King Louis XIV, who himself commissioned the Diament Bleu De La Couronne de France (generally known as the French Blue), which was a much smaller 69-carat gem fashioned from the original 115-carat stone.

It remained within the French royal family for over a century, being reset into the Order Of the Golden Fleece in 1749 by Louis XV and commonly worn by Louis XVI’s wife, Queen Marie Antoinette until it was stolen during the French Revolution in 1792, and the pair were executed.

This is what gave the jewel its cursed reputation, as once the stone was rediscovered in 1812 in the United Kingdom, it ended up in the hands of the unfortunate Prince Regent George IV, and after a series of sales ended up in the hands of Thomas Hope, where it received the name, Hope Diamond.

This continued until 1901, where Lord Francis Hope’s financial woes caused him to sell it, where it ended up in the hands of several American socialites before finally being sold to the Smithsonian Institute, where it lies in the National Museum of Natural History to this day.