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The Cursed Diamonds: When Precious Stones Became a Curse

Marilyn Monroe, iconic actress and model of the 20th century, wears a cursed diamond.

Did you know that some of the world’s most famous gemstones are shrouded in legends of curses and mystery? These diamonds are far from ordinary jewels. They are said to have contributed to the fall of dynasties and left behind a trail of destruction and death. Imbued with mystical powers, these stones are fascinating. Their presumed bad karma makes them objects of both desire and fear. Let’s delve into the history of six of these cursed diamonds that have made their mark on history.

The Hope Diamond: The Blue Jewel of Destruction

A symbol of fear and fascination, the hypnotically blue Hope Diamond is one of the most famous stones in the world. Discovered in India and originally weighing 115 carats, it was recut to 45.52 carats. Acquired by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1668, this jewel is said to have caused the downfall and death of its owners, including Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. The stone passed through a series of unfortunate owners, each falling victim to inexplicable tragedies, until its current display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C..

The Hope Diamond (or Blue Diamond of the Crown of England): a 45.52-carat blue diamond
The Hope Diamond (or Blue Diamond of the Crown of England): a 45.52-carat blue diamond

The Sancy: Three Kings and a Tragic Fate

In the 16th century, three kings — Charles the Bold, Charles I of England, and Louis XVI of France — all met tragic ends after possessing the Sancy Diamond. Originally owned by Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy, this diamond traversed tumultuous eras, eventually being acquired by the Louvre, where it resides today.

The Sancy diamond: 195-carat black diamond
The Sancy diamond: 195-carat black diamond

The Black Orlov: The Cursed Eye of Brahma

The Black Orlov, a 195-carat black diamond, was once said to be the eye of a statue of Brahma. Stolen by a monk, it brought misfortune to its successive owners, including Catherine the Great and J.W. Paris, who committed suicide after buying it. Today, the diamond is displayed in the Kremlin, adding an air of mystery to its dark legends.

The Black Orlov diamond
The Black Orlov diamond

The Koh-i-Noor: The Mountain of Light with a Dark Destiny

Discovered in the 14th century, the Koh-i-Noor has changed hands multiple times, causing the downfall of many maharajas. Acquired by the British and incorporated into the imperial crown, this diamond is believed to bring misfortune only to men, with a Hindu belief stating that "Only God or a woman can wear it with impunity." Today, it is part of the British Crown Jewels on display at the Tower of London.

The Koh-i-Noor diamond on the British imperial crown
The Koh-i-Noor diamond on the British imperial crown

The Regent: Napoleon’s Sword and Its Curse

Discovered by an Indian slave in the 18th century, the Regent’s history is marked by betrayal and murder. Acquired by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, it disappeared during the French Revolution and later reappeared on the sword of Napoleon I. The emperor, after suffering numerous defeats, ended his days in exile, confirming the curse associated with this diamond.

The Regent Diamond
The Regent Diamond

The Moon of Baroda: Marilyn Monroe’s Yellow Diamond

Discovered in India and cut into a 24.04-carat stone, the Moon of Baroda was owned by various royal figures before adorning Marilyn Monroe‘s neck in 1953. The diamond was immortalized by the actress in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. However, it is said to have contributed to the downfall of her career and personal life. Today, the stone remains shrouded in mystery, with its owners preferring anonymity.

These stories, though often romanticized, add an element of mystery and fascination to these precious stones. Cursed diamonds continue to enchant, blending legend, history, and tragedy. They remind us that beauty can sometimes conceal unfathomable darkness.