Weighing 112 3/16-carats (115.16 modern metric carats, erroneously reported by many others as 110+/- carats), the crudely cut gem was described by Tavernier as a "beautiful violet" and brilliant in clarity and rare in color. The diamond was likely cut from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India.
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a French traveller and trader, returning to France from India with many of the largest gems of the era, which he primarily sold to the French royalty and aristocracy.
After being stolen from the French Crown Jewels in 1792 during the turbulence of the French Revolution, the French Blue was cut into the Hope Diamond in an attempt to prevent its proper identification.
Another blue diamond believed to have been taken from the Tavernier was originally set as a ring for Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Paul I. It was given to the State Diamond Fund in 1860, by her daughter-in-law, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Later, it was mounted into a stick pin. It is preserved in the collection of the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, not far from St Petersburg.
Where there's Hope ... ; ... there's curiosity and rumors of a curse surrounding the world's largest and most famous blue diamond
Sep 16, 2007; There's nothing on Earth like a big gem. Especially when it's a diamond. (Anita Loos knew it. In "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," gold...