Monday, February 14, 2011

MFS - Strange But True - Things / Other 21


Updated on MFS - Strange But True - Things / Other 21

The Cursed Delhi Purple Sapphire

Some 34 years ago Peter Tandy, a young curator at the Natural History Museum, happened upon a jewel while working among the great lines of mineral cabinets. From a scientific perspective, the stone was nothing special, though its setting was rather bizarre, bound by a silver ring decorated with astrological symbols and mystical words with two scarab-carved gems attached. It was a typewritten note that accompanied the jewel, an amethyst known as the Delhi Purple Sapphire, that caught Tandy’s eye.

The Delhi Purple Sapphire was "trebly accursed and is stained with the blood, and the dishonor of everyone who has ever owned it," according to Edward Heron-Allen, a scientist, friend of Oscar Wilde and the last owner of the jewel.

The Delhi Purple Sapphire, actually an amethyst, was willed to the London Natural History Museum in 1943 by Heron-Allen. Supposedly he was so concerned about the curse of bad luck and tragedy surrounding the gem that he sealed it with protective charms in seven boxes.

Heron-Allen’s last words on the jewel: "Whoever shall then open it, shall first read out this warning, and then do as he pleases with the jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it into the sea." The sapphire was only discovered again more than three decades ago though the discovery was kept quiet due to the supposed curse. Supposedly Heron-Allen, a scholar in his own right, knew what he was talking about. His descendants would never touch the jewel and knew well the story of the cursed amethyst.Read more on this "Cursed' Charm on MFS.
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