3 Haunted Pieces of Jewelry

From The One Ring to Rowena Ravenclaw’s lost diadem, cursed jewelry is a recurring theme in literature. We love it when jewelry has a backstory, even if that backstory is a little spooky. In the real world, every piece of jewelry has a unique story, and as it turns out, some stories are… darker than others. 

In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve rounded up stories about the 3 most haunted pieces of jewelry that we could find. Read on to learn their true tales of terror… if you dare

The Hope Diamond

IMAGE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Diamond#/media/File:Hope_Diamond.jpg

The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous jewels in the world. Its story begins in the 1600s when a French merchant traveler purchased a 112 3/16-carat diamond and sold it to King Louis the XIV of France in 1668. King Louis had it re-cut and set, but as fate would have it, he wouldn’t possess it for long. In 1792, he and his wife Marie Antoinette were caught trying to flee France. Things did not end well for them—they were beheaded. 

The diamond’s line of provenance gets a little muddled through the years, but in the 1800s it ultimately wound up in the possession of King George the IV. It was sold to settle his debts following his death in 1830. 

In 1909, the diamond was sold to Evalyn Walsh McLean, who claimed that “unlucky objects were lucky for her.” Little did she know just how unlucky this diamond was. After she bought the diamond, a series of tragedies befell her: her son died in a car accident, her daughter died of an overdose of sleeping pills, and her unfaithful husband was committed to a sanitarium before ultimately dying of alcohol-induced brain atrophy. The Hope Diamond was acquired by Harry Winston, who donated it in 1958 to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, where it has been on display ever since. 

The Black Orlov Diamond

IMAGE: https://www.naturallycolored.com/images/famous-diamonds/the-black-orlov.jpg

The Black Orlov Diamond is beautiful, but is its beauty worth it? This stone is also referred to as “The Eye of Brahma Diamond,” and it was allegedly stolen from one of the eyes in a statue of the Hindu god Brahma. (Stealing things from gods is always a great idea, right?)

To the surprise of no one who has ever watched a horror film, the diamond was cursed from the moment it was stolen. Several people who owned the diamond over the years committed suicide. People like:

  • J.W. Paris, who jumped to his death from a New York skyscraper.
  • Russian princesses Nadia Vyegin-Orlov and Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky, who allegedly jumped to their deaths from buildings in Rome. 

After that, the diamond was split into three pieces by a jeweler who claimed that breaking the diamond would also break the curse. Did it work? We don’t know, but we sure wouldn’t tempt fate and try it on!

The Black Prince’s Ruby

IMAGE: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Imperial_State_Crown.png

The Black Prince’s Ruby is a bit of a misnomer—this gem is not a real ruby, but a large red spinel. Because of this, it has been dubbed “The Great Imposter.” 

Much of the story behind the “ruby” is speculation and legend, but from what we can tell it was mined from what is now modern-day Tajikistan before being taken by force in the 14th century by the King of Castile, Pedro the Cruel. (With a name like that, you know this gem is in trouble.) Shortly after Pedro the Cruel stole the gem, his half-brother attacked him and challenged him for the title of King. 

What happened next is muddy: some say that Edward of Woodstock (“The Black Prince”) acquired it in his success after Europe’s Hundred Years War. Others say Pedro the Cruel gave The Black Prince the gemstone as a thank-you for his help in holding off Pedro’s brother’s army. Regardless of how he acquired it, the “ruby” stayed with Edward until he died a mysterious death. 

After The Black Prince’s death, the gemstone sees a variety of turmoil: King Henry V of England wore it during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 and nearly died; it was in the possession of the British Tudor family of royals when Charles I was beheaded; and Charles II nearly lost it when the Crown Jewels were stolen. 

Some say that the curse continued: In 1841, the jewelers who re-set the stone suffered a terrible fire, and the Tower of London (where the jewel was kept) was later bombed during World War II. 

Bonus: The Dybbuk Box

IMAGE: https://travel.home.sndimg.com/content/dam/images/travel/fullrights/2016/03/29/0/TPOS101H_215929_761477.1304868.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462.suffix/1491593805712.jpeg 

So let’s just say you happened to acquire all three of these pieces of cursed jewelry. We’re big advocates of proper jewelry storage, so you’d need a place to store them, right? Well, how about a haunted box to go with your haunted jewels?

The dybbuk box is the stuff of horror legend—it inspired a film and even scared rapper Post Malone. The dybbuk box is a wine cabinet purchased by Kevin Mannis in 2001 from the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. When Mannis bought the box, the seller informed him that her grandmother had instructed her to never, ever open the box, as it contained a dybbuk—an evil, restless spirit that possesses the living, per Jewish folklore—inside. 

Of course, Mannis did not listen and opened the dybbuk box… and things get a little intense from there. The box is blamed for causing mysterious illnesses, terrifying nightmares, wrenching gut pain, and a lot more. Perfect for storing cursed jewelry, right? 

Avoid a Scary Situation: Insure Your Jewelry

No matter what type of jewelry you find in your possession, it’s a good idea to insure it with a standalone jewelry insurance policy. At Zillion, we offer comprehensive insurance plans that protect your jewelry in the event of theft, loss, accidental damage, and natural disasters. (Sorry, we don’t cover any damage incurred from vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, demons, or dybbuks.) With a jewelry insurance plan from Zillion, you do more than just wear your jewelry—you wear it with confidence… even if it’s cursed. 

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Zillion partners with jewelers to offer their customers lower rates on jewelery insurance. If you don’t see your jeweler on our list, we’re sorry, we won’t be able to offer you a quote for insurance.