The Hope Diamond is located in the Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of Natural History on the second floor in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. Don’t be surprised if there are lots of people trying to get a close up view of the Hope Diamond when you get there. Click Museum of Natural History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location.
A Brief History of the Hope Diamond:
16?? – A huge blue diamond was found in India, probably at the Kollur mine in Golconda.
16?? – The diamond was roughly cut to a little over 112 carats.
16?? – Jean Baptiste Tavernier bought a huge diamond and took it to France.
1668 – King Louis XIV of France bought the diamond from Tavernier.
1673 – Sieur Pitau (the jeweler of the French court) cut the diamond down to a little over 67 carats.
1791 – The royal jewels including this diamond were turned over to the French government after Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette attempted to leave France.
1792 – The diamond was stolen.
1812 – By this time the stolen diamond had been re-cut to its current size, and it turned up in the possession of Daniel Eliason, a London diamond dealer.
18?? – King George IV of England bought the diamond.
1830 – When King George IV died, the diamond was sold privately to pay his debts.
1839 – Henry Philip Hope died. The diamond that now bears his name was in his possession, but how it got there is not clear.
18?? – Henry Thomas Hope (Henry Philip Hope’s nephew) took ownership of the diamond following litigation.
18?? – Lord Francis Hope (grandson of Henry Thomas Hope) became owner of the diamond.
1901 – The Hope Diamond was sold by Lord Francis Hope to a London diamond dealer. In that same year it was sold to diamond dealers in New York Joseph Frankels and Sons.
19?? – Joseph Frankels and Sons sold the diamond to Selim Habib.
1909 – Selim Habib consigned the diamond to an auction house in Paris. It didn’t sell at the auction, but afterwards it was sold to C.H. Rosenau.
1909 – C.H. Rosenau sold the diamond to Pierre Cartier.
1911 – Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean who lived in Washington DC bought the diamond.
1947 – Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean passed away.
1949 – Harry Winston Inc. bought the diamond from Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean’s estate.
1958 – Harry Winston Inc. gave the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution on November 10, 1958.
Closest Metro Station: The Smithsonian Metro Station and the Federal Triangle Metro Station, both on the Blue and Orange Lines, are nearest to the Natural History Museum and about the same distance away. Although the Smithsonian Metro Station, located just across the mall from the museum, is a little bit closer.