Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

13.3 Fabled Gemstones


13.3: Fabled Gemstones

Many especially large and valuable gemstones have been lost, stolen, and/or vested with supernatural powers or curses. One of the most famous is the Hope Diamond, currently residing under heavy protection in the Smithsonian. According to legend, it was stolen from the eye of a Hindu idol, and various owners have suffered ignoble fates ever since: being torn apart by wolves, beheadings, suicide, even death by starvation! Thus, it‘s become legendary for bringing misfortune to those who would possess it.

Below, I‘ve listed a number of prominent gemstones with interesting histories, stories, or legends behind them. Some of these fabled gemstones are famous merely for being the biggest or best of their kind (for instance, the largest yellow diamond, the most flawless emerald, etc.). Others are famous for their long histories and owners who have included sultans and slaves, kings and queens, industry titans and movie stars. Still others are infamous for legendary curses and daring thefts. Assign a different stone to each of your kids to research. Then at your next meeting or gathering, have them sit in a circle to report back to the group what they‘ve discovered, or have them prepare articles for the club newsletter. Pick from the list, or have kids find famous stones on their own.

The Hope Diamond

The Blue Diamond of the Crown

The Koh-i-Noor ("Mountain of Light")

The Shah Diamond

The Regent Diamond

The Braganza Diamond

The Cullinam I & II Diamonds (aka, "The Great Star of Africa" and "The Lesser Star of Africa")

The Tiffany Diamond

The Sancy Diamond

The Duke of Devonshire Emerald (aka, "The Duke‘s Diamond")

The Chalk Emerald

The Mogul Emerald

The Hooker Emerald

The Mackay Emerald

The Andamooka Opal (aka, "The Queen‘s Opal")

The Aurora Australis Opal

The Black Prince Opal (aka, "The Harlequin Prince")

The Empress of Australia Opal

Fire Queen Opal ("Dunstan‘s Stone")

The Pride of Australia Opal (aka, "The Red Emperor")

The Flame Queen Opal

The Olympic Australis Opal

The Pearl of Lao Tzu (aka, "The Pearl of Allah")

The DeLong Star Ruby

The Hixon Ruby Crystal

The Midnight Star Ruby

The Neelanjali Ruby

The Rajaratna Ruby

The Rosser Reeves Ruby

The Black Prince‘s Ruby

The Timur Ruby

The Samarian Spinel

The Logan Sapphire

The Queen Marie of Romania Sapphire

The Ruspoli Sapphire

The Star of Asia Sapphire

The Star of Bombay

The Star of India

The Stuart Sapphire

The American Golden Topaz

Note: Kids who give a presentation or write an article can use this activity toward earning their Communication badge simultaneously (Activities 7.1 and 7.2).