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All About Diamonds : Determine the Carat of a Diamonds
It is blue to the naked eye because of trace amounts of boron within its crystal structure, and exhibits a red phosphorescence under exposure to ultraviolet light. It has been described as the "most famous diamond in the world". The diamond has been compared in size and shape to a pigeon egg,  walnut ,  a "good sized horse chestnut "  which is "pear shaped. It has been described as being "fancy dark greyish-blue"  as well as being "dark blue in color"  or having a "steely-blue" color. The stone exhibits an unusually intense and strongly colored type of luminescence: Jeffrey Post, Smithsonian curator,  Clarity: The clarity was determined to be VS1, with whitish graining present. The cut was described as being "cushion antique brilliant with a faceted girdle and extra facets on the pavilion. In , the diamond was removed from its setting in order to measure its chemical composition ; after boring a hole one nanometre four-billionths of an inch deep, preliminary results detected the presence of boron , hydrogen and possibly nitrogen ; the boron concentration varies from zero to eight parts per million. Jeffrey Post, the boron may be responsible for causing the blue color of the stones after tests using infrared light measured a spectrum of the gems. When Associated Press reporter Ron Edmonds was allowed by Smithsonian officials to hold the gem in his hand in , he wrote that the first thought that had come into his mind was: You cradle the Diamonds in general, including the Hope Diamond, are considered to be the hardest natural mineral on the Earth , but because of diamond's crystalline structure, there are weak planes in the bonds which permit jewelers to slice a diamond and, in so doing, to cause it to sparkle by refracting light in different ways. The Hope Diamond contains trace amounts of boron atoms intermixed with the carbon structure, which results in the rare blue color of the diamond. But the first historical records suggest that Tavernier obtained the stone in , possibly by purchase   or by theft. This large stone became known as the Tavernier Blue diamond. It was a crudely cut triangular shaped stone of carats Les Six Voyages de J. Tavernier , contains sketches of several large diamonds that he sold to Louis XIV in possibly  or ; while the blue diamond is shown among these, Tavernier mentions the mines at "Gani" Kollur as a source of colored diamonds, but made no direct mention of the stone. Historian Richard Kurin builds a highly speculative case for as the year of acquisition,  but the most that can be said with certainty is that Tavernier obtained the blue diamond during one of his five voyages to India between the years and One report suggests he took 25 diamonds to Paris, including the large rock which became the Hope, and sold all of them to King Louis XIV. According to the theory, during that period Colbert , the King's Finance Minister, regularly sold offices and noble titles for cash, and an outright patent of nobility, according to Wise, was worth approximately , livres making a total of , livres, a price about half Tavernier's estimate of the gem's true value. Later English-speaking historians have simply called it the French Blue. The king had the stone set on a cravat -pin. The diamond became the property of his grandson Louis XVI. One report suggested that the cut was a "butchered job" because it sheared off Previously, the dimensions of the French Blue had been known only from two drawings made in and ; although the model slightly differs from the drawings in some details, these details are identical to features of the Hope Diamond, allowing CAD technology to digitally reconstruct the French Blue around the recut stone. In a contrasting report, historian Richard Kurin speculated that the "theft" of the French Crown Jewels was in fact engineered by the revolutionary leader Georges Danton as part of a plan to bribe an opposing military commander, Duke Karl Wilhelm of Brunswick. Although Caroline was the wife of the Prince Regent George later George IV of the United Kingdom , she lived apart from her husband, and financial straits sometimes forced her to quietly sell her own jewels to support her household. Caroline's nephew, Duke Karl Friedrich , was later known to possess a This smaller diamond's present whereabouts are unknown, and the recent CAD reconstruction of the French Blue fits too tightly around the Hope Diamond to allow for the existence of a sister stone of that size. United Kingdom[ edit ] A blue diamond with the same shape, size, and color as the Hope Diamond was recorded by John Francillon in the possession of the London diamond merchant Daniel Eliason in September , the earliest point when the history of the Hope Diamond can be definitively fixed,   although a second less definitive report claims that the Hope Diamond's "authentic history" can only be traced back to There are conflicting reports about what happened to the diamond during these years. Eliason's diamond may have been acquired by George IV of the United Kingdom ,  possibly through Caroline of Brunswick ;  however, there is no record of the ownership in the Royal Archives at Windsor, although some secondary evidence exists in the form of contemporary writings and artwork, and George IV tended to mix up the Crown property of the Crown Jewels with family heirlooms and his own personal property. A source at the Smithsonian suggested there were "several references" suggesting that George had, indeed, owned the diamond. Another report states that the king's debts were "so enormous" that the diamond was probably sold through "private channels". In , the Hope Diamond appeared in a published catalog of the gem collection of Henry Philip Hope, who was a member of the same Anglo-Dutch banking family. After falling into the ownership of the Hope family, the stone came to be known as the "Hope Diamond". His three nephews, the sons of Thomas and Louisa, fought in court for ten years over his inheritance, and ultimately the collection was split up. The oldest nephew, Henry Thomas Hope , received eight of the most valuable gems, including the Hope Diamond. It was displayed in the Great Exhibition of London in and at the Exposition Universelle in Paris , but was usually kept in a bank vault. When Hope died on December 4, , his wife Anne Adele inherited the gem, but she feared that the profligate lifestyle of her son-in-law might cause him to sell the Hope properties. Upon Adele's death in , the entire Hope estate, including the Hope Diamond, was entrusted to Henrietta's younger son, Henry Francis Pelham-Clinton , on the condition that he add the name of "Hope" to his own surnames when he reached the age of legal majority. As Lord Francis Hope, this grandson received his legacy in However, he had only a life interest in his inheritance, meaning that he could not sell any part of it without court permission. Lord Francis lived beyond his means, and this eventually caught up with him, leading to marriage troubles and financial reverses, and he found that he had to sell the diamond. In , the financial situation had changed, and after a "long legal fight,"  he was given permission to sell the Hope Diamond by an order of the Master in Chancery  to "pay off debts". Like many jewelry firms, the Frankel business ran into financial difficulties during the depression of and referred to the gem as the "hoodoo diamond. A contrary report, however, suggested that Sultan Abdul Hamid did own the gem but ordered Habib to sell it when his throne "began to totter. The couple owned the Hope Diamond for many years. McLean became impatient to the point where she suddenly requested to see the stone. She recalled later that Cartier "held before our eyes the Hope Diamond. Cartier had it reset. She found the stone much more appealing in this new modern style. There were conflicting reports about the sale in the New York Times ; one account suggested that the young McLean couple had agreed to purchase the diamond, but after having learned about its unfortunate supposed history, the couple had wanted to back out of the deal  since they knew nothing of the "history of misfortunes that have beset its various owners. All their lives they have known more of jewelry, finery, banquets, automobiles, horses, and other articles of pleasure than they have of books, with their wealth of knowledge. No mention of any ill luck having befallen Eliason, Hope, or any of their descendants was ever made. The Frankels surely were very prosperous while the stone was in their possession, as were the dealers who held it in Europe. Habib's misfortune referred to in the newspaper accounts occurred long after he had sold the stone As Francis Hope never had the stone and May Yohe probably never saw it An alternative scenario is that the McLeans may have fabricated concern about the supposed "curse" to generate publicity to increase the value of their investment. A description was that the gemstone "lay on a bed of white silk and surrounded by many small white diamonds cut pear shaped". McLean wore it to a "brilliant reception" in February when it was reported that it was the first time it had been worn in public since it had "changed owners. The Hope Diamond in its original pendant must have looked fantastic at parties circa the s, when it hung around the neck of owner Evalyn Walsh McLean's Great Dane, Mike. William Schindele, a former Secret Service man, has been engaged to guard the stone. He in turn will be guarded by Leo Costello and Simeon Blake, private detectives. The stone will be kept at the McLean mansion during the day and each night will be deposited in a safe deposit vault. McLean wears the gem at balls and receptions arrangements have been made to keep the safe deposit building open until after the function that the stone may be safely stored away. A special automobile has been purchased to convey the guards to and from the house to the trust company's building. McLean died in , she bequeathed the diamond to her grandchildren through a will which insisted that her former property would remain in the custody of trustees until the eldest child had reached 25 years of age. This requirement would have prevented any sale for the next two decades. However, the trustees gained permission to sell her jewels to settle her debts, and in sold them to New York diamond merchant Harry Winston. He purchased McLean's "entire jewelry collection". The diamond appeared on the television quiz show The Name's the Same , in an episode which first aired on August 16, ,  when a teenaged contestant with the actual name Hope Diamond was one of the mystery guests, as well as at the August Canadian National Exhibition. Winston's gift, according to Smithsonian curator Dr. Jeffrey Post, indeed helped spur additional gifts to the museum. The Hope Diamond is the most popular jewel on display and the collection's centerpiece. Starting in September , the It had been removed from its setting for cleaning from time to time, but this was the first time it would be on public display by itself. Previously it had been shown in a platinum setting, surrounded by 16 white pear-shaped and cushion-cut diamonds, suspended from a chain containing forty-five diamonds. The Hope returned to its traditional setting in late The Hope Diamond also is resting on a new dark blue neck form, which the Harry Winston firm commissioned from display organization, Pac Team Group. Previously, the Hope Diamond had been displayed as a loose gem since late summer of when it was removed from its former Cartier-designed setting. The necklace with the new diamond will be sold to benefit the Smithsonian.
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