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Sinister Sparkle: 3 Creepy Tales of Cursed Jewelry

Everyone loves a gorgeous piece of vintage jewelry, but do you ever wonder what mysteries those faceted facades may hold? In honor of the most wonderful time of the year—Halloween—we’re taking a look at some of history’s most deadly gems.

The Hope Diamond

Possibly the most famous of all cursed gems, the Hope Diamond is rumored to have brought misfortune and tragedy on nearly everyone who ever owned or wore it. While some skeptics believe the curse was created to generate interest in the diamond, it’s hard to deny that many people who had contact with the Hope Diamond met hard times and sticky fates. The history of the Hope Diamond is soaked in the blood of royals and movie stars alike, and the curse has claimed victims including Marie Antoinette, Prince Ivan Kanitovski, and Princess de Lamballe. However the Hope Diamond’s reign of terror seems to have drawn to a final end, as it has been resting peacefully at the Smithsonian Institution since 1958.

The One Ring  

Often referred to as the real life “One Ring to Rule Them All,” this 4th century Roman ring is rumored to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous accessory in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Found near a historic Roman town in Southern England in 1785, the ring is inscribed in Latin, “Senicianus live well in God,” and is believed to be connected to a curse tablet found separately at the site of a temple to the god Nodens. On the tablet, a Roman man named Silvianus accuses a man named Senicianus of stealing a ring and begs the god Nodens to curse the thief until the ring is returned.  

As for its link to Tolkien’s famous flights of fancy? It was long assumed that inspiration for the One Ring was drawn from literary sources, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that Tolkien was studying the etymology of the name Nodens during his early drafts of The Hobbit in 1929.

The Delhi Purple Sapphire

The Delhi Purple Sapphire is not a sapphire at all, but a large and vibrantly-colored amethyst. Dating back to the 19th century, the Delhi Purple Sapphire was bequeathed to the Museum of Natural History by noted intellectual Edward Heron-Allen upon his death in 1944. There, it languished in a dusty drawer until 1972, when it was re-discovered by curator Peter Tandy, alongside a very mysterious note penned by Heron-Allen before gifting the piece to the museum.

“This stone is trebly accursed and is stained with blood, and the dishonour of everyone who has ever owned it, “ wrote Heron-Allen. He went on to explain the bloody history of the gem, which spread disaster to every person who came in close contact with it. “It was looted from the treasure of the Temple of the God Indra at Cawnpore during the Indian mutiny in 1855 and brought to this country by Colonel W. Ferris of the Bengal Cavalry. From the day he possessed it he was unfortunate and lost both health and money. His son...suffered the most persistent ill-fortune. He had given it once to a friend, but the friend shortly afterwards committed suicide and left it back to him by will.”

In the final paragraph of his letter, Heron-Allen explains the spooky stone’s mysterious presence in the Museum of Natural History. “I feel that it is exerting a baleful influence over my newborn daughter so I am now packing it in seven boxes and depositing it at my bankers, with directions that it is not to see the light again until I have been dead thirty-three years. Whoever shall open it, shall first read this warning, and then do so as he pleases with the Jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it in the sea.”

What could have so unnerved a man of great education and intellect? Perhaps we should hope we never find out.


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Located in New Albany, Indiana, Koerber’s is a family-owned and operated fine jewelry store. Over thirty years ago, we set out to sell the highest quality diamonds and jewelry at competitive prices. From designer engagement rings to fashion jewelry, we offer the highest quality merchandise backed with exceptional customer service.

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