Hope Diamond ($250 million). Among the most romanticized jewels in the world, the Hope Diamond is housed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and considered the second-most visited piece of art in the world (behind the "Mona Lisa"). Discovered in India in 1812, the 45.52-carat blue-gray stone has had many owners over the years. The diamond is also said to be cursed—including the alleged suicides of several of its owners. Selected by http://sleepbamboo.com/
Hand that held history - Harry Winston. The 125.35 carat emerald cut Jonker diamond is at the center. Top left is the 94.80 carat pear shaped Star of the East diamond. The 45.52 carat blue Hope diamond rests between his index and middle finger. The 337.10 carat Sapphire of Catherine the Great is next to his thumb, and the 70.21 carat Idol's Eye diamond is just above the Jonker. 46.39 and 44.14 carats Indore Pears, matched pair of pear shaped diamonds and a larger ruby are also shown.
The Hope Diamond - formerly one of the crown jewels of France, having at one time adorned King Louis XIVs Order of the Golden Fleece as well as being used in other pieces from time to time. It was looted during the revolution and re-cut.
The Jonker, originally weighed 142.9 carats, cut with 66 facets. Later the proportions were changed, to impart to it a more oblong outline and greater brilliance. The stone was also flawed, apparently. It was thus reduced to a weight of 125.35 carats, cut with 58 facets. In the opinion of many who had inspected it, Jonker I is perhaps the most perfectly cut gem in existence.
The Blue Heart diamond is 30.82 carats. The gem was cut into its distinctive shape in 1909-1910 and was bought by Cartier shortly thereafter. Since then it has bounced around from a wealthy Argentinian woman, Van Cleef and Arpels, a European family, Harry Winston, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and, finally, the Smithsonian, where The Blue Heart has resided since 1964.