Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem

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HarperCollins, May 9, 2006 - History - 388 pages
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The true story behind the most famous–and infamous–stone in the world.

The Hope diamond is not only exceptionally beautiful it has a long and incredibly colorful history. That history – spread over three continents – features diamond mining in India, the French Revolution, the machinations of British King George IV, the Gilded Age in America and a number of very clever jewelers including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. In the 20th century, the myth of the Hope diamond curse made the diamond more notorious and famous than ever before, but it is only one small piece of a long and lustrous history.

Dr. Kurin, who is a cultural anthropologist, has spent over a decade on the trail of the Hope, from India, to France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and England. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people – from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean to Jackie Kennedy and her pivotal role in one of the Hope's few 20th century trips abroad.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lisa.Johnson.James - LibraryThing

A book sponsored by & published by the Smithsonian itself, this is a truly fascinating look at the actual history of one of the most famous diamonds in the world. The author spent over 10 years in the ... Read full review

Hope diamond: the legendary history of a cursed gem

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Rife with romance, violence, power, and betrayal, the legend of the Hope Diamond reads like a sensational pulp novel. And as Kurin (director, national programs, Smithsonian Inst.) points out, the ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Richard Kurin is the director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

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