One of the most famous diamonds of all times is the hope diamond: a 45.52-carat deep blue diamond now housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. The Hope Diamond once belonged to Henry Philip Hope, a banker, who was well known for his astounding jewel collection that consisted of 700 gems around the time of his death in 1939. While the Hope Diamond, its appearance, and its history, is rather known to many people, its “cousin,” the Hope Spinel, is completely new to most.
The Hope Spinel, a rare 50.13-carat spinel, which ranks extremely high in terms of all the 4 Cs, is set to go on sale at the Bonhams London Fine Jewelry Sale where it will be sold for the first time in nearly a century. The last time the gem was sold was in 1917, when it brought in the equivalent of approximately $122,081. This time around the gemstone is estimated to reach $300,00 and perhaps even more.
It is not every day that a famous diamond or gemstone is put up for sale, but high quality stones with unbelievable ROI potential are sold all the time. As well as for the beauty that jewelry offers, specific diamonds and gemstones are used as alternative investments because of the potential that these stones hold. To read more about the potential of natural fancy color diamonds or gemstones as an investment, browse through the Investment Portal.
Spinels display a remarkable red hue similar to that of rubies and garnets. In fact, many mistake spinels for rubies and a spinel is actually very much like garnets and diamonds in terms of its refractive qualities. Though spinels are quite common, unlike many other gemstones, this one in particular is extraordinary due to its large size, flawless cut, unusual clarity, and striking hue. Emily Barber, a Bonhams representative, claims that stones like the Hope Spinel don’t come around very often. It is believed that the Hope Spinel was sourced from the Kuh-i-Lal mines in Tajikistan where many Crown Jewels were discovered.
Later on this September, potential buyers will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a phenomenal stone that has not been available in almost one hundred years and that is chock full of history. Bonhams will be holding a Fine Jewelry Sale where this gem will most likely fetch a staggering sum.
Although this particular stone is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, there are other high quality pieces of jewelry that people choose to source as investments. The potential gains recognized from diamonds and gemstones sold at auction or even those we have resold for our customers is very high. It obviously depends on the type of stone, the color, and the size, but we have seen unbelievable returns on investments made in the past.
Many important gemstones have fascinating histories, and this stone is no different. Henry Philip Hope was a banker who moved to London with his brother in the late 18th century. Though Hope never married, he succeeded in creating various impressive jewelry and art collections. Without any direct heir to leave his 700-piece gem collection with, Hope secretly gave his wealth to one of his three nephews. This of course was unacceptable to the other nephews and an intense dispute ensued resulting in the division of the lavish jewelry collection. One nephew was gifted with a majority of the collection while the other received several of the more valuable pieces including the Hope Diamond and the Hope Spinel. Henry Thomas Hope, the nephew who inherited the Hope Spinel as well as other stones, died, leaving his inheritance to his widow and old daughter, who was married to a heavy gambler.
Henry’s widow compromised by giving the jewels to her second grandson on the condition that he add “Hope” to his last name. Though the grandson, Lord Francis Hope, did change his name when he reached the legal age, and adhered to the agreement forbidding him to sell the jewels without permission, he inherited his father’s tendency to gamble and became bankrupt only nine years after inheriting his fortune. Though he had no permission to do so, Francis sold the Hope Diamond in 1901 and the rest of the Hope collection made its way to a Christie’s sale. A dealer bought the Hope Spinel, but later sold it to Lady Mount Stephen, a supposedly dear friend of Queen Mary. The Hope Spinel currently belongs to a successor of Lady Mount Stephen.
Although the Hope Spinel is far less rare and valuable than its “cousin,” the Hope Diamond, it carries a vast amount of history, culture, and intrigue with it, which will surely result in a surprising sale price. The impressive elements are just a small part of the gem’s charm. Its mystery and undeniable romance surpass any of the spinel’s physical properties. This very unique stone is just one example of a gemstone that has succeeded in appreciating tremendously over time.
UPDATE SEPT 24:
At Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale, the remarkable Hope Spinel set a new world record when it sold for US$ 1,470,724 to an anonymous telephone bidder.