Diamonds have been a part of history for thousands of years, and they have often been in high places. In early ancient cultures they were available to royalty only and were present in the courts of Ramses, Cleopatra and all the influential people of the time.
Diamonds have held the fascination of man since they were first discovered. Scientist and gemologist are still trying to work out just how long man has been aware of diamonds and precious gemstones. The numbers change frequently. It is now believed by some that tools of the cavemen were sanded with diamond dust due to the study of the smoothness of these primitive instruments.
In earliest recorded history, diamonds were worn as much for protection and special favor as they were for adornment alone. Diamonds and the other precious gemstones were believed to have any number of powers and protective properties.
Down throughout history diamonds have had their place in the armor of many great warriors. They are also featured in the bible in reference to the breastplate of the high priest and again in describing the holy city
The regent began as 410 carats, and according to accounts, was stolen by a slave in India and bartered for passage to freedom. During the voyage, the English sea caption murdered the slave and took possession of the stone which he sold for about $5000. The diamond merchant who bought it, then sold it in 1702 for about $100,000.
The new owner had it cut and reshaped to 140 carats, and some of the smaller stones eventually made their way into the hands of Peter the Great of Russia. The main 140 carat diamond was sold in 1717 to the Regent of France and took on it’s new name, the regent. In 1723 it was set into a crown for Louis XV for his coronation.
At the close of the French Revolution, “The Regent” was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte, and it was placed into the hilt of Bonaparte’s sword.
The diamond is currently on display in the Louvre, for all to see and enjoy.
The Mountain of Light
Another diamond of fame is the rare oval shaped, “mountain of light” which weighed in at the remarkable weight of 186 carats and was first mentioned in the year 1304. It is said this diamond was stolen from the peacock throne of Shah Jehen where it was set to form the eye of one of the peacocks.
During Queen Victoria’s reign, this very rare famous diamond was recut and reshaped to a weight of 108.93 carats. Currently this diamond is among the British Crown Jewels.
It is claimed that when the Orloff diamond was discovered, it weighed in at a hefty 300 carats. This very large of the famous gemstones is housed at the Diamond Treasury in the former Soviet Union and is located in Moscow.
One story concerning the Orloff tells of the diamond actually being placed as the eye of a god, in the temple of Sri Rangen, and accounts for it’s place and fame as one of the world’s most famous diamonds.
The Blue Hope
A diamond originally owned by Louis XIV was called “the blue diamond of the crown”. This famous diamond which became known as the blue hope can now be seen at the Smithsonian Institute.
The Blue Hope Diamond was stolen during the chaos of the French Revolution. It was re-discovered in the year 1830, in London, and was was later purchased by Henry Phillip Hope. The Blue Hope Diamond acquired it’s new name from Henry Phillip Hope along with the reputation for creating bad luck to it’s various owners. During his ownership of the diamond, each member in Hope’s family died in a state of desperate poverty.
This streak of bad luck seemed to stay with the stone, as the later owner of the blue hope, Mr Edward McLean also saw much tragedy in the lives of members of his family as well.