The Hope Diamond
Recognized now as possibly the most famous jewel in the world, the Hope Diamond had more humble beginnings. French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier originally purchased the diamond back in 1666 as the Tavernier Blue.
Tavernier cut his newly bought diamond, renamed it the French Blue, and sold it to King Louis XIV in 1668.
During the French Revolution (1791) looters stole the French Blue. The jewel disappeared until 1839 where it resurfaced once again re-cut. This time part of the Hope family’s personal jewelry collection as the infamous Hope Diamond.
Weighing in at 45.52 carats, the Hope Diamond now sits at the Smithsonian with an estimated value of a staggering $200-$250 million USD.