It’s a National Treasure on display in the Museum of Natural History. Its name stirred my curiosity as much as the color and light dazzled my eyes. I imagined that this magnificent Hope Diamond had earned its inspiring name by bringing hope and light to the heart of some desperate person. So my curiosity took me on search of its history.
At one time India was the only place in the world that produced diamonds.The Hope Diamond was a huge alluvial (washed loose) diamond mined from the Kollur Mine in 1653. Alluvial diamonds are washed from mountains and volcanos into rivers and streams. Thousands of workers dug and sifted through the silt and sludge for long, labor intensive hours to to find very few diamonds.
The people of India believed that the diamond contained power and energy. Since bigger was better, they only cut away any imperfections found in the diamond. And this jewel was a whopping 112 carats.
Jean Baptiste Tavernier, a diamond merchant acquired and then sold his big blue to Louis XIV for the equivalent of 1.8 million dollars. It was called the “Tavernier Violet.” Violet at that time in French meant “intense blue.”
The Renaissance in Europe brought the understanding of geometry which led to delicate glass cutting, and to the intricate diamond cutting that enabled a diamond to dazzle and sparkle as it reflected the light.
Louis XIV called himself the Sun King and seemed to have an extravagant appetite for BLING. Maybe we could call him the Bling King? He had the Tavernier Blue recut to emit its most spectacular sparkle and shine. French Blue was the new name for this dazzling 67 carat diamond. Although almost half it’s size, the new, brilliant diamond doubled in value.
The story of this ageless beauty continued for hundreds of years.
Flaunted by kings.
Coveted by world leaders. Including Napoleon!
I couldn’t find a single trace of hope. So why is it called the Hope Diamond?
Henry Philip Hope, purchased the diamond from George IV in a secret sale necessitated by his significant debt. Mr. Hope catalogued it simply as “Number One.” However when inherited by his nephew and displayed in the London Exposition at the Crystal Palace, it was designated as “Mister Hope’s Blue Diamond.” It seems time has a way of shortening names first “Hope’s Blue Diamond,” then shorter still to it’s current name “Hope Diamond,”
Just a Name, No Hope.
I trekked through the pages of history to discover a glimmer of hope radiating from this big blue, but it just didn’t happen.
I saw mystery,
as I viewed the story of the hands that held this magnificent beauty,
but no hope.
Were my expectations too great? Can a stone offer hope?
Or are we looking for hope in all the wrong places?
I think we are. Let’s turn our attention to another stone.
Isaiah describes this stone for us.
A precious stone- absolutely, the most precious of all.
Like the diamond, a hard, durable or reliable stone.
Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken. Isaiah 28:16 NLT
And Jesus announced the fulfillment of the prophesy. “Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” Mark 12:10 NLT