Jewels that say “Boo!”: 5 scary gems with mysterious pasts

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond

In this season of ghosts and goblins, the jewelry world has its own scary gems. Here are five jewels with enough curses, mysteries, and political intrigue to scare even the calmest jewelry collector.

  1. Hope diamond: This 45.52-carat blue diamond was mined in India in the 17th century, was looted by revolutionaries during the French revolution, and ultimately purchased by Henry Philip Hope, from whom it got its name. In 1909, it was sold to Evalyn Walsh McLean, an American mining heiress and socialite. She suffered a number of tragedies, including the death of a son, daughter, and husband. After her death, Harry Winston purchased the diamond and donated it to the Smithsonian, where it is today.
  2. The Black Orlov Diamond

    The Black Orlov Diamond

    Black Orlov diamond: Supposedly taken from a Hindu idol, this gem was said to cause its owners to suffer violent deaths. It was cut into three different stones in an attempt to remove the curse.

  3. Koh-i-Noor diamond: This 105.6-carat diamond carried the Hindu curse, “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes.” It’s now one of the British crown jewels, but India has lobbied to get possession of the stone for many years.
  4. Blue diamond: In 1989, this large diamond disappeared from the Saudi royal family’s palace. There is supposed a curse on anyone who handles it illegally. The whereabouts of the diamond is unknown, but many believe it was smuggled into Thailand. Its disappearance strains relations between Saudi Arabia and Thailand to this day.
  5. Watch from the Cheapside hoard. Courtesy of GIA

    Emerald watch from the Cheapside hoard. Courtesy of GIA

    The mysterious “Cheapside” jewelry hoard: In 1912, workmen cleaning up debris from an old tenement house in the London neighborhood of Cheapside uncovered an old box in the debris. They uncovered a large hoard of jewels, which had been hidden for almost 300 years. There were untouched examples of Elizabethan jewelry—and some even older. Why where they hidden? Who hid them? No one knows why.


Don’t be surprised by your jewels. Contact me for an up-to-date appraisal of your gold, silver, watches, and other valuables.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

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