FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Computer Analysis Finds Origin of Hope Diamond

Researchers at the Smithsonian Institution have used computer simulation to determine that the infamous Hope Diamond was cut from the French Blue diamond, one of France's crown jewels.

The 69-carat French Blue was cut for King Louis XIV of France from a massive stone found in India in 1668. The French Blue vanished during the French Revolution, but the 45-carat Hope Diamond mysteriously appeared in London 20 years later and was bought by its namesake, Henry Philip Hope.

The researchers were able to confirm that the Hope had been cut from the French Blue by analyzing detailed illustrations of the French crown jewels made in 1700. Using powerful computer analysis, gemologists could see how cuts in both diamonds matched. "This new Hope Diamond research would not have been possible 10 years ago," said Smithsonian gem curator Jeffrey Post. "What is exciting is that we are constantly learning new information about our collections as we apply new high-tech research methods."

The Hope Diamond has a storied history, having been associated with bouts of bad luck for its owners over the years. It is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

Source: CNN.com