The original form of the Hope Diamond was stolen from an eye of a sculpted statue of the goddess Sita. In the book “The Unexplained,” the early origins of this beautiful gem is mentioned: “it sparkled in the brow of an Indian temple idol — until it was impiously plucked out by a thieving Hindu priest, whose punishment for this unholy act was a slow and agonizing death. … It was apparently unearthed in the Golconda mines by the Kistna River in southwest India, and made its European debut in 1642, when it was bought by a French merchant who sold it to King Louis XIV for a handsome profit … but was mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs.”
Some even believe that the diamond was on the Titanic when it sank, though it has widely been termed as a rumour.
Several accounts, based on remarks written by French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who obtained the gem in India in 1666, suggest that the gemstone originated in India, in the Kollur mine in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh (which at the time was part of the Golconda kingdom, in the seventeenth century.
Original sketch made by the Tavernier:
There is evidence of several newspaper accounts which helped spread the curse story. A New Zealand newspaper article in 1888 described the supposedly lurid history of the Hope Diamond, including a claim that it was “said once to have formed the single eye of a great idol”, as part of a confused description that also claimed that its namesake owner had personally “brought it from India”, and that the diamond’s true color was “white, although when held to the light, it emits the most superb and dazzling blue rays.” An article entitled “Hope Diamond Has Brought Trouble To All Who Have Owned It” appeared in the Washington Post in 1908. An additional account of the Hope Diamond’s “cursed origins” was a fanciful and anonymously written newspaper article in 1909. It was followed by another New York Times article in 1911 which gave a list of supposed cases of ill-fortune, but with few confirmations from other sources:
- Jacques Colet bought the Hope Diamond from Simon Frankel and committed suicide.
- Prince Ivan Kanitovski bought it from Colet but was killed by Russian revolutionists.
- Kanitovski loaned it to Mlle Ladue who was “murdered by her sweetheart.”
- Simon Mencharides, who had once sold it to the Turkish sultan, was thrown from a precipice along with his wife and young child.
- Sultan Hamid gave it to Abu Sabir to “polish” but later Sabir was imprisoned and tortured.
- Stone guardian Kulub Bey was hanged by a mob in Turkey.
- A Turkish attendant named Hehver Agha was hanged for having it in his possession.
- Tavernier, who brought the stone from India to Paris was “torn to pieces by wild dogs in Constantinople.”
- King Louis gave it to Madame de Montespan whom later he abandoned.
- Nicholas Fouquet, an “Intendant of France”, borrowed it temporarily to wear it but was “disgraced and died in prison.”
- A temporary wearer, Princess de Lamballe, was “torn to pieces by a French mob.”
- Jeweler William Fals who recut the stone “died a ruined man.”
- William Fals’ son Hendrik stole the jewel from his father and later “committed suicide”
- Some years (after Hendrik) “it was sold to Francis Deaulieu, who died in misery and want.”
Wikipedia Article Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Diamond
The diamond lives in National Gem Collection of the Smithsonian Institution, United States. It reached US in 1902 and after passing through several owners finally reached the Smithsonian Museum in 1958.
The whereabouts of the idol of the Ma Sita is unknown, though the return of the diamond to its original place is awaited.