The most visited exhibit on the planet, the Hope Diamond, was removed from its post for a high tech investigation of the sparkling force allegedly behind the downfall of Louis IV, Marie Antoinette and King George IV.
Is it because the exquisitely cut deep blue diamond is mesmerizingly beautiful that it has been blamed for countless tragedies, or is something more sinister at work?
The Diamond has a seriously dark reputation of being extracted from the eye of a Hindu Goddess and punishing glutinous royals. Even the mailman who delivered it to the Smithsonian was burned by its hideous glamour, when subsequently he was hit by a truck, his house burned down, and his wife died.
On its 50th anniversary in captivity at the Smithsonian, the rock that formed 100 miles beneath the earth's surface to emerge at 40 miles per hour, was taken to lab for precision drilling. Scientists discovered the glitter, the blue pigment, and the mysterious red after glow….. is all an illusion created by Boron atoms.
Diamonds are often gleaming distractions that serve no obvious function but to represent love and commitment. To those who acquired it, the Hope Diamond gave identity and status. ( Or their dogs in the case of Evan Walsh).
When the high life crumbles it is tempting to project off the shiniest object in sight. After all, who wants to face what money cannot buy and beauty cannot answer?
Smithsonian Channel will premiere a one-hour special, "Mystery of the Hope Diamond" on Sunday, November 21 at 8 p.m. Et/Pt and will be narrated by Kim Basinger.