WASHINGTON — Researchers using computer analysis have traced the origin of the famed Hope Diamond, concluding that it was cut from a larger stone that was once part of the crown jewels of France.
A French connection had been suspected for the Hope, but the new study shows just how it would have fit inside the larger French Blue Diamond and how that gem was cut, Smithsonian gem curator Jeffrey Post explained.
The deep blue Hope Diamond is the centerpiece of the gem collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, famed for its claimed history of bad luck for its owners. It’s been good fortune for the museum, though, drawing millions of visitors.
Post said the new analysis of the diamond took a year, with researchers using sketches from pre-Revolutionary France, scientific studies of the French crown jewels and computer models.
“This new Hope Diamond research would not have been possible 10 years ago,” said Post. “What is exciting is that we are constantly learning new information about our collections as we apply new high-tech research methods. Even the Hope Diamond is grudgingly giving up some of its secrets.”0