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The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond; a beautiful blue diamond weighing 45.52 carats, and perhaps the most notorious gem in history.  It was said to have a curse on because a thief stole it from the eye of a statue of the Hindu goddess, Sita. Since then the trail of unlucky owners is enough to make you believe in curses.

The Hope Diamond
1974. The Hope Diamond, one of the largest of all blue diamonds, exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History. The gem is slightly lopsided, possibly because the bottom of the teardrop shape was cut away so that the original stolen jewel could not be identified. The setting is a circlet of smaller white diamonds on a chain of diamonds. Image credit: Unknown, Public Domain, Link

A French trader, Tavernier, bought it in India and sold it to Louis XIV, and on his very next trip to India, Tavernier was killed by wild dogs!  It was then inherited by Louis XVI and Mary Antoinette, who had their heads cut off. Shortly after their executions the diamond was stolen and was re-cut by a Dutch diamond cutter, William Fals, who died of grief after his son, Hendrik, stole the gem from him. Soon after that Hendrik committed suicide.

In 1830, the diamond (then called the French Blue), resurfaced in London. Twenty years and a day after the robbery, just when the statue of limitations on prosecution for the theft expires, Henry Hope bought it and passed it on to his nephew, Lord Francis Hope, who didn’t hold on to his wealth for very long and lost his leg in a hunting accident.  An Eastern European Prince gave it to an actress of the Folies Bergere… and later shot her.

Another owner and his family plunged to their death in a car accident. Abdul Hamid II , a Turkish sultan, owned the diamond only a few months before he was toppled from his throne in 1909.

Then there was Evelyn McLean, wife of owner of The Washington Post, who bought it from Cartier, who promised to refund her if there was a death in her family within 6 months of purchase. Her son was killed in a car accident, her husband died in a mental hospital, and her daughter committed suicide. The business started failing and she had no choice but to auction off The Washington Post. At the auction she was begging people to take the diamond in exchange for her keeping the business. Nobody wanted it and the paper was sold for small change.

The next owner, Harry Winston, mailed it with ordinary mail as a donation to the Smithsonian Institution where it has been on display ever since.

A curse?  Coincidence? Decide for yourself. But if I was offered the stone, I wouldn’t want it!

— Reinette


Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.


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The 4C`s: How to Determine the Value of a Diamond

How to Determine the Value of a Diamond - The 4 Cs - Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio

There are several factors that determine the value of a diamond. When buying a diamond you might be surprised to find that two stones with exactly the same weight have totally different prices. The combination of colour, cut, clarity and carat weight determines the price.

THE 4 C`s


The weight of a diamond is expressed in carats. One carat is equal to 0.2 grams and one carat equals 100 points.

The word “carat” comes from the use of the carob seed which was used to weigh stones and precious metals. However, this was a factual inaccuracy, as their mass varies about as much as seeds of other species.


All diamonds have traces of their own growth history.  In gem quality diamonds, this concerns minute internal and external characteristics, graded under Clarity.

This grade goes from FL (flawless), VVS (very very slightly included), VS (very slightly included), SI (slightly included) to I (included). Only from “I” can one see the inclusion with the naked eye.


Most diamonds range from slightly yellowish to colourless. The colour grade is determined by comparison with a series of master-stones. The best colour being colourless (D), then goes down the alphabet where up to the colour H still registers as white. By the colour S the stone is obviously yellow.

Diamonds come in a range of fancy colours like bright yellow, browns and black, blues, pink and even purple. The fancy blues and reds are very rare and extra expensive.


The fire, brilliancy and scintillation of a diamond are largely determined by the proportions of the various parts of the stone. This might even be the most important factor because without fire, even the most clean white diamond will look like a piece of glass.

It is also worth mentioning that there are other factors like fluorescence that can determine value of a diamond.

Then of course there is the 5th C which is the confidence of the buyer in the dealer; ensure that your jeweller has good ethics and provides you with a certificate.

— Reinette

Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.