Blue diamonds are extremely rare, but you might have already heard of the most famous blue diamond of them all: The Hope Diamond. We are delighted to share the whole story with you, including the unique history that goes with it. We are also delighted to tell you all about a wonderful alternative to this coloured diamond. Find out more from the BAUNAT experts here.

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The history of the Hope Diamond

In 1660 the French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier bought an uncut blue diamond in India weighing 112 carats. It was probably extracted from the well-known Kollur mine there. Once back in France, Tavernier sold the diamond to the king of France, Louis XIV. The gemcutter at the French court then cuts the diamond into a beautiful blue stone weighing 67 carats, which was worn by King Louis XIV. This impressive stone was therefore nicknamed Le Blue de France.
Le Bleu de France was set into a chain which Louis XIV wore on state occasions
In 1792, during the French Revolution, the blue diamond was stolen. It was around 20 years before the diamond resurfaced. A London diamond dealer came into possession of a beautiful blue diamond around that time. According to gemmological evidence, this was Le Bleu de France, which had been recut.
The Hope Diamond in the National Museum of Natural History – BAUNAT
Finally, the stone came into the possession of Henry Philip Hope. The present-day name therefore derives from him, and so the stone is known as the Hope Diamond. After Hope died, the stone had several owners, including Pierre Cartier. Between 1911 and 1947, the stone was owned by the American Evalyn Walsh McLean who had the Hope Diamond set into a chain.

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In 1988 it was confirmed that the Hope Diamond and Le Bleu de France are one and the same
The American jeweller Harry Winston bought the Hope Diamond and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. It is still on display at the National Museum of Natural History.

The curse of the Hope Diamond

According to some legends, the Hope Diamond is supposed to carry a curse. The stone is said to have been stolen from the statue of a Hindu god, who placed a curse on it. Over the years, several from the long list of owners have died in somewhat dubious circumstances or the owners suffered an accident after buying the diamond. It is doubtful whether their accident or death really had anything to do with the Hope Diamond. Do you fancy some jewellery with a splendid blue stone like the Blue Diamond, too? Then get one made to order.

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The Hope Diamond in recent history

Gloria Stuart with the Heart of the Ocean, inspired by the Hope diamond
There's a good chance you know of the Hope Diamond from another source. This diamond was in fact the inspiration for the Heart of the Ocean, a fictional jewel from the film Titanic. The Hope Diamond was clearly the inspiration for the Heart of the Ocean: they are both blue diamonds of similar size, and the history is also similar. Actress Gloria Stuart wore this beautiful replica worth $1.4 million to the Academy Awards in 1998.

What makes the Hope Diamond so special?

The Hope Diamond is a beautiful gemstone of 45.52 carats classed as Type IIb. This carat weight makes it the largest blue diamond ever found. Its size has also given scientists new understanding of how diamonds are formed. The colour is described as fancy dark greyish-blue. The GIA examined the stone in 1996 and graded it fancy deep greyish blue.
The Hope Diamond is classified as a Type IIb diamond. Barely 0.1% of all diamonds belong to this type

How much is the Hope Diamond worth?

It is not easy to estimate exactly how much the Hope Diamond is worth, but experts put the amount at around $350 million. It is therefore one of the most valuable diamonds on the planet. Only diamonds with even more stunning properties and even more unique history, such as the Cullinan Diamond and the Koh-i-Noor, are more valuable.

Where can you see the Hope Diamond?

The Hope Diamond has been in the gemstone collection at the National Museum of Natural History since 1958. It is still on display there today. In the more than 60 years that the Smithsonian has owned it, the Hope Diamond has been out on loan four times. For example, it was on display in the Louvre for a month, once in an exhibition in South Africa and twice in New York. The first time was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Harry Winston Inc. and the second was for maintenance.

Why buy diamonds at BAUNAT?

Sapphire ring, as opposed to one with a blue diamond such as the Hope Diamondn ring met saffier als alternatief voor een blauwe diamant zoals de Hope Diamond
Blue diamonds are among the most expensive precious stones to be found. But fortunately, there is a fine alternative, namely sapphires. This beautiful blue gem is a much more affordable alternative.

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You can certainly buy blue diamonds at BAUNAT. Use our personal service for this. Working with our experts you can design jewellery entirely how you want it. Using our specialised software, we firstly create a 3D model online. You are always intimately involved in the development process.

Our experts always work with the very best materials, too. We buy our diamonds and precious stones directly from the source. This means we are always assured of best quality and we can save on price. Some jewellery is 30% to 50% cheaper at BAUNAT than at a physical jeweller.

Find out more about diamonds and other precious stones

You now know all there is to know about the history of the Hope Diamond and its unique features. There are of course a number of other diamonds that are definitely worth knowing more about. Read the blogs below and find out more about some of the most famous diamonds in the world.
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