Friday, July 22, 2005

This is probably the most notorious gem in the world. The diamond glows with a unique reddish color under ultraviolet light.

It all started when Jean-Baptiste Tavernier brought the 112 carat diamond to France in 1668. Legend has it that he pried it from the eye or forehead of a Hindu Goddess Sita. However, Susanne Patch, author of Blue Mystery: The story of the Hope Diamond, wrote that It is an unlikely shape for an eye or on the forehead of the idol.

The first owner Louis XIV of France named it 'French Blue'. It was stolen during the French Revolution in 1791, resurfaced in 1813 in London. They were unsure if it was the same diamond as it had been re-cut. But test recently proves it is the French Blue. It was owned by King George IV of England. After his death, it was sold off to pay debts.

In 1839, Henry Philip Hope bought it and named it Hope Diamond. The Diamond changed hands many times. Most notably, Mrs Evalyn Walsh Mclean (1911) and finally Harry Winston bought it in 1947 (or 1949?). He donated it to Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C in 1958. Till today, it has attracted many visitors.

So what about the curse? It was said that many of the Diamond's owner suffered terrible fate.

- Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette were beheaded during the French Revolution. (but many others died during the war too!)

- Henry Philip Hope family,once very wealthy, went bankrupt. (3 generations of the Hope family were untainted. It is gambling and high spending that led it to its downfall.)

- An Eastern European prince gave it to actress Folies Bergere and later shot her. (not much record on this, cant be verified.)

- A Greek owner's family died in a car accident. (cant be verified either.)

- Turkish Sultan Abdul-Hamid II was toppled from his throne. (no records too.)

- Most tragically, Evalyn Mclean's family. Her son, age 9, died in a car crash. Her daughter committed suicide at age 25. Her husband went mad and died in a mental hospital. (Interesting, Evalyn does not believe in the curse and treat it as a good luck charm.)

Bull Shit? Coincidence? You decide, while I prepare to go for my holidays.

P/s: 2 more days to my much deserve holiday!

1 Sightings:

Blogger Kurakat said...

In the medieval times, it is quite often to see changes in rulership and of course, bloodshed that accompanied these. Try equating it with dynastic changes in China.. So much blood spilled in worthless conflicts started by worthless people...

This gem, if it is really as real as is claimes, is so expensive that only the ruling class can afford it. thus, it may just coincidentally happened that the rich folks, who are in a risky position, died violently. But these may be attributed to the political class structure and landscape, not due to the gem. The gem may just happened to be in their possession when they died. Where else do you think its at? Der...

Accidents do happen and we should not attribute all these accidents to lucky/cursed objects. Why? Cos there are so many accidents that happened out there to folks to folks who do not hold this gem. How do you explain this? There amy also be folks who own this gem and yet still prospers? How do you explain that? And there may be folks who dun own this gem but propers anyway? How do you explain that?

To attempt to believe in superstitions is a kind of faith. Question is - is this a reasonable faith? If not, we will really be stupefied.. Like the man who is praying for a 4D number outside the house of the didmenbered Chinese lady.. So sad...

1:53 AM  

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