The Cursed 'Delhi Purple Sapphire' Goes On Display

(from timesonline.co.uk) - 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.

“This stone is trebly accursed and is stained with the blood, and the dishonour of everyone who has ever owned it,” said the note, which had been written by Edward Heron-Allen, a scientist, friend of Oscar Wilde and the amethyst’s last owner. It carried a curse and had left a trail of bad luck and tragedy.

Heron-Allen claimed to have been so disturbed that he had surrounded the amethyst with supposedly protective charms and sealed it inside seven boxes before leaving it to the museum in his will. His letter concluded: “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.” While they were sceptical, Tandy and his colleagues agreed to keep quiet about the curse. Continued...


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