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1850
1860
1870
1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
Colored postcard showing the Kronprinz Wilhelm, the German trans-Atlantic passenger liner that Simon Frankel used to transport the Hope Diamond back to New York with him in 1901.
1901-1907
The Hope Diamond was sold by Lord Francis Hope and passed through the hands of several gem dealers and jewelry merchants before ending up in New York City.
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Façade of the Hotel Drouot Auction House in Paris, France circa 1852.
1908-1909
Selim Habib purchased the Hope Diamond from the faltering Joseph Frankel's Sons & Co. Habib's later misfortunes fueled a growing myth about a curse on the Hope Diamond.
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Pierre Cartier with his wife and daughter
1910
The French jewelry house Cartier purchased the Hope Diamond and began seeking a buyer.
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1908-1909
Selim Habib and rumors of a curse

Joseph Frankel's Sons & Co. finally found a buyer for the Hope Diamond in 1908: Selim Habib, a Turkish diamond collector and merchant who purchased the Hope Diamond for a reported $200,000 (~5 million 2014 dollars). According to the New York Times, Selim Habib soon had financial troubles, and in 1909, he sold his gem collection, including the Hope Diamond (Kurin, 2006). His financial difficulties and a later, incorrect report of his death at sea contributed to the growing myth of a curse on the Hope Diamond.

Habib's collection was put up for auction at the Hotel Drouot in Paris, France on June 24, 1909. Jeweler and gem expert Louis Aucoc oversaw the auction, withdrawing the Hope Diamond from the sale before selling it to jeweler C. N. Rosenau for 400,000 francs (Kurin 2006).

In Depth

Gallery

Façade of the Hotel Drouot Auction House in Paris, France circa 1852.
Timeline adapted from Post and Farges 2014 and sources therein. Updated 23 October 2017.

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