Do you believe in bad luck? Do you fret over tempting fate? Then it’s unlikely you’d risk wearing (let alone buying!) cursed stones.
Throughout the centuries, supernatural stories have swirled the diamond community. Whilst many jewels have sparked great joy, just occasionally, history unearths stones of huge sadness, or worse still, destruction…
The Black Orlov
Perhaps cursed from the very beginning, this 195-carat black diamond served as the eye of Brahma, a 19th-century Hindu statue, and the monk who stole the stone from the statue was murdered.
Its whereabouts were unknown for decades until dealer J.W. Paris purchased the diamond in 1932. His business bombed, and he committed suicide by jumping from a New York highrise.
More oddness, two Russian royals who owned the diamonds separately both jumped to their death.
Charles F. Wilson defied the odds and purchased the Black Orlov in 1950 which had recut to 67.50 carats. Its last public sighting was at a Christie’s auction in 2006, and the fate of it's new owner remains unknown.
The (No!) Hope Diamond
Arguably one of the most famed cursed stones of history, this destructive diamond dates back some 350 years and is linked to the ruin and demise of its owners. Legend has it that the stone became known to the West only after being stolen from a temple, where it was protected by a curse. Over time its owners have enjoyed mixed fortunes…
First found in India in 1673, the stone began as a 115-carat blue diamond. After making its way into the possession of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, the pair were soon after executed during the French Revolution.
The next tenure tale is sadly no better, with Henry Diamond Hope assuming as successor. His story is short, dying young and leaving large gambling debts. The stone was sold on once more to service his arrears.
Up next Wilhelm Fals, a jeweller, who imminently fell fowl of the stone. He was murdered by his son, who fled with the stone and thereafter commit suicide…
Unfazed by its infamy, heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean experienced a life of horror having taken possession of the stone. There followed the deaths of her son and her daughter, and the departure of her husband, who himself went mad and died.
The Sancy Diamond
The Sancy’s horrid history dates to the 16th century. Three of its majestic owners, Charles the Bold, Charles I, and Louis XV faced horrific deaths after taking ownership of the stone.
In the years that followed, the stone was used to finance wars, found itself the subject of larceny, and in an extreme twist, was swallowed to save it. The swallowing soul was murdered, and the diamond later exhumed from his corpse.
By 1978, and in the possession of the Astor family, the diamond was flipped to the French, traded to the Louvre for the princely sum of $1m.
Moon of Baroda
Legend has it that if the Moon of Baroda diamond crosses the sea or ocean, it will bring bad luck to its owner, and seemingly that legend seems to be true…
Originally discovered in India, the fancy yellow diamond was for centuries held by the Gaekwads of Baroda. In the mid-1700s, it was briefly owned by the Empress Marie Thérèse of Austria, the mother of the ill-fated Marie Antoinette. After her death, it was returned to the Gaekwad family. Some believe her demise was because of the cursed diamond crossing the sea.
In 1953, the Moon of Baroda was purchased by Meyer Rosenbaum of Meyer Jewelry Company in Detroit. A rebellious marketing ploy placed the diamond on a leather cord and around the neck of Marilyn Monroe which she wore while filming Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, setting it trending. That same year, Monroe’s career and personal life took a downwards spiral.
The Moon of Baroda was recorded in auction sales in 1990 and 2018, however, its owners chose to remain anonymous their fate unknown…
Stay safe & sparkly this Halloween...