The Hope Diamond is one of the most iconic items in the Smithsonian's collections, but this glittering gem is rumored to have a dark side. French monarchs, an heiress, and at least one unlucky postman have met misfortune after possessing it—though does that really constitute a curse? This time on Sidedoor, we track the lore of this notorious gem through the centuries, from southern India, through the French Revolution, and across the Atlantic Ocean to its current home at the National Museum of Natural History, to find out for ourselves.
You can see the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in the Harry Winston Gallery. If you want to continue your adventure with the diamond, hop on over to the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum where you can see the ordinary packaging that safely transported it to Washington, D.C., and learn more about its delivery story.