The Blue Diamond
Number of pages
In a story reminiscent of The Red Violin, The Blue Diamond is a sweeping historical novel surrounding one of the most feared and revered gems in history.
We now know that the Hope Diamond is a recutting of Louis XIVth’s mythical Blue Diamond. In the novel The Blue Diamond, the scientist who made the discovery tells the stone’s complex history, a lyrical journey filled with passion and intrigue, betrayal, superstition, and greed.
The novel follows the renowned gem from India to France, where it arrives in the possession of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French traveler and pioneer of trade with India. The diamond was a gift from the Grand Mogul of India himself. The supposedly cursed stone is sold to the Sun King, becoming the famous Blue Diamond of the Crown, which Louis XIV wore on a ribbon around his neck. His grandson Louis XVI inherited the jewel, and his wife, Marie Antoinette, may have worn it. After their deaths, it was stolen.
Later the Hope Diamond appeared—also big, blue, beautiful, and cursed. Were they one and the same? Who held it in their hands, who wore it, who transformed it to hide its origins?
This is the story of one diamond, and the people whose lives it touched, in a tale that spans centuries and continents.
A documentary based on the author’s discoveries about the origins of the Hope Diamond was recently aired in the United States on the National Geographic Channel.
François Farges : François Farges, a specialist in mineralogy, is director of collections at the Museum of Natural History in Paris and a professor at Stanford University in California. It was he who uncovered the link between the Blue Diamond of Louis XIV and the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian.
Thierry Piantanida : Thierry Piantanida is a journalist and scriptwriter of science and nature documentaries.