Interesting Gems: Hope Diamond Part 2

The Hope Diamond reappeared on 1830, when Henry Philip Hope purchased the stone from a London gem merchant. He bought it for $90,000 dollars ($1.5 million converted to today’s money). He had no heir and passed his fortune to his nephew, Henry Thomas Hope who mysteriously died shortly after. In 1887, Lord Francis Henry Hope came into possession of the diamond as part of his inheritance.

In 1894 Mad Cap May Yoi, a stage performer, and Lord Henry were engaged. He gifted the diamond to her for a wedding. A year after the marriage, Lord Henry ended up being bankrupt. A year after that, his wife, May, left him. Even when she left him, she continued to obsess over the diamond. She wore a replica of it during all her performance. She also opened a hotel named blue diamond, which sadly burned to the ground a few months after opening. Lord Henry eventually sold he diamond for $140,000 (about $2 million today).

Upon gaining the possession of the gemstone and renaming it the Hope diamond, the entire family’s fortune has tumbled. It could be coincidence or fate? Let the last known owner give you more insight.

Pierre Cartier acquired the diamond in 1908, planning to sell it to Evelyn Walsh Mclean, the wife of Thomas Mclean, owner of the Washington Post. 1911, Cartier successfully sold it to his client for $180,000 ($3 million today). She then has experienced a series of misfortunes. The first one was the death of her first-born son at the age of 9 years old. Then her husband fell in alcoholism and was confined in a mental institution where he died. Her only daughter committed suicide at the age of 25. Less than a year after her daughter’s death, she passed away.

In 1947, the Mclean family sold the gem to Harry Winston. In 1958, it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution. It is currently on display. Has its curse finally stopped?

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