Hope Diamond


One of the world's most famous gems, the Hope Diamond is a blue cushion-shaped diamond totaling 45.52 carats. It is said that its 115.36-carat rough cut was discovered by the traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier who sold it to Louis XIV in 1668. As one of the jewels of the French crown, it disappeared in 1789 only to reappear twenty years later in England. Held by the Hope banking family for most of the nineteenth century, it was bought in 1910 by Cartier who turned it into a pendant. Evalyn Walsh McLean then became the owner. It is now part of the Smithsonian Institution collections in Washington.