11.09.

1792: Theft of the Most Famous Diamond in the World

1792: Theft of the Most Famous Diamond in the World
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 11 September 1792
  • The famous blue diamond, insured for 250 million dollars, was stolen on this day in 1792. The diamond belonged to the French king Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.

The French king Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette had their diamond stolen on this day in 1792.

It was the famous blue diamond, named “Hope”, also known as “Le Bleu de France” (French blue). Today, this diamond is kept in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Every year, many visitors come to see this diamond, and it is the most visited object in the world, after the Mona Lisa at Louvre Museum. This diamond “inspired” the “Heart of the Ocean”, the famous blue diamond (Titanic movie).

The diamond’s history is very interesting, and some think that the mentioned diamond is cursed because its previous owners died a violent death, or had other misfortune.

The diamond was excavated in India, and the French royal court owned it. King Louis XVI wore it around his neck as a part of the famous Order of the Golden Fleece. He died tragically. Firstly, he had been deposed from the throne due to the French Revolution. After that, he was executed.

The king was captured by the revolutionaries, while a group of robbers broke into the Parisian Garde Meuble, and stole the French crown jewels. They also stole the mentioned Louis’s chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece with the blue diamond.

After the theft, the diamond “disappeared” for a long time. It showed up in London in the next century. The wealthy London banker Thomas Hope bought the diamond. The diamond was named “Hope” after him.

There were several owners of the diamond (some of them had different misfortunes). Harry Winston, who was a diamond merchant, became its owner in 1949.

Winston donated the stone to the Smithsonian Museum, not because he feared the curse. Allegedly, he wanted the museum to have an adequate gem collection.

Today, this diamond is kept in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., and it is one of its main attractions. It weighs 45.52 carats, i.e. 10.9 grams.

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