New evidence confirms Hope Diamond is long-lost gem looted from Louis XVI

November 29th, 2008 - 3:41 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Nov 29 (ANI): With the discovery of a lump of lead, a mineralogist has proved that the Hope Diamond, a star exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, is the long-lost gem looted from Louis XVI in 1792.

It had long been suspected that the Hope, which was given to the Smithsonian in 1958 by the jeweller Harry Winston, came from the Diamant Bleu that was looted in Paris in 1792, when King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were being held prisoner.

According to a report in The Times, Francois Farge, the chief mineralogist with the Paris Museum of Natural History, has used technology to prove that it is, indeed, the crudely cut-down heart of the 69-carat diamond originally bought by an adventurer in Hyderabad, India, in the 17th century.

The breakthrough came when Farge and his team came across a lead casting the size of a pigeons egg among thousands of items in their museums dusty drawers.

It was tagged as replica of a blue diamond belonging to Monsieur Hoppe of London. The replica, with its multiple facets, matched period pictures of the long-lost royal gem.

The French team compared it to computer measurements of the Hope sent from Washington and found that the US stone fitted perfectly inside the Blue Diamond.

It is more than a hypothesis, said Farge. We have carried out analyses by scanner and laser, which have been validated by experts in gemology, he added. (ANI)

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