The legendary cursed amethyst

It is a real-life gem, known as the Delhi Sapphire or simply “the cursed amethyst.” Was the sapphire really cursed? Its owner, Edward Heron-Allen, believed so. He says so in a letter in which he entrusted the royal gem to the Natural History Museum in London (United Kingdom). Even today the jewel retains a creepy reputation. This is the story of the legendary cursed amethyst.

It is said to have been looted from the Temple of the God Indra in Cawnpore (India) during a 19th century riot. An officer took her to England, only to suffer continuous misfortunes that affected her family and her friends.

The legendary cursed amethyst retains its fascination for men.
The legendary cursed amethyst retains its fascination for men.

Instructions for use

In time, Heron-Allen wrote, the jewel came into his possession, as did the curse. Heron-Allen wrote that he tried to give her away and even “neutralize” her. But no matter how much he tried to get rid of it, the stone came back to him and caused him even more misfortune. Frustrated, he threw it into a London canal, but it was returned to him after the canal was dredged.

He packaged it with instructions. She was not to see the light until he had been dead for 33 years. Whoever inherits it, he had to throw it into the ocean. But in 1944, Heron-Allen’s daughter gave the gem and the letter to the Natural History Museum in London. Some suggest that the legend was fabricated for publicity.

Over the years, the “purple sapphire” became known as “the cursed amethyst.” It is still preserved in the museum’s gleaming Vault gallery alongside other famous rocks and minerals. It is currently not on display. But he returned to the public consciousness with a best-selling book that is tangentially based on his story.

The jewel was exhibited for a long time in a museum.
The jewel was exhibited for a long time in a museum.

Other curses

During the same period, stories of other “cursed” gemstones proliferated. For example, the Koh-i-Noor diamond, a huge gem confiscated from its Indian owners in 1849. It ended up becoming one of the crown jewels of the United Kingdom. And rumors that stolen gems have the ability to ruin lives persist to this day. It tests our tendency to assign meanings to material objects. And it reveals a lot about our insecurities, interests and social taboos.

As art critic Hettie Judah writes: “The suggestion that wealth and power are based on something dark and rotten is irresistible. “The enigmatic diamond dazzles as a crystalline emblem of both magnificent wealth and evil.” The legendary cursed amethyst, whether you like it or not, continues to dazzle our imagination.

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