The largest of coloured diamonds, the Hope, weighs 44 1/8 carats, and has a steely- or greenish blue, and not the royal-blue colour of the glass models supposed to represent it. It is believed to be a portion of a drop-form stone (dun beau violet) which was said to have been found at the Kollur mines, and was secured by Tavernier in India in 1642 and sold by him to Louis XIV in 1668; it then weighed 67 carats. This stone was stolen with the remainder of the French regalia in 1792 and never recovered. In 1830 the present stone (Fig. 69) was offered for sale by Eliason, a London dealer, and was purchased for £ 18,000 by Thomas Philip Hope, a wealthy banker and a keen collector of gems. Probably the apex of the original stone had been cut off, reducing it to a nearly square stone. The slight want of symmetry of the present stone lends confirmation to this view, and two other blue stones are known, which, together with the Hope, make up the weight of the original stone. At the sale of the Hope collection at Christie’s in 1867 the blue diamond went to America. In 19o8 the owner disposed of it to Habib Bey for the enormous sum of £8o,000. It was put up to auction in Paris in 1909, and bought by Rosenau, the Paris diamond merchant, for the comparatively small sum of 400,000 francs (about £16,000), and was sold in January 1911 to Mr. Edward M’Lean for £60,000. The stone is supposed to bring ill-luck in its train, and its history has been liberally embellished with fable to establish the saying.
A beautiful apple-green diamond, faultless, and of the purest water, is contained in the famous Green Vaults of Dresden. It weighs 40 carats, and was purchased by Augustus the Strong in 1743 for 60,000 thalers (about £9000).
(3) PAUL I
A fine ruby-red diamond, weighing r 0 carats, is included among the Russian crown jewels.
The lovely orange brilliant, weighing r 251 carats, which is in the possession of Messrs. Tiffany & Co., the well-known jewellers of New York, was discovered in the Kimberley mine in 1878.