Wednesday, 24 December 2014

India's Idol's Eye Diamond - Does it carry curse?


Carrying curse?The Idol's Eye Diamond of Golconda origin, India famousdiamonds.tripod.com
  Most of the diamonds - famous ones - are shrouded in mysteries and enigma that remain unanswered due to lack of  strong and conclusive evidence. As a result logical inferences in many cases remain matters of subjectivity. Yet another diamond called  ''Idol's Eye'' is not an exception to this puzzle. Originally it was thought this diamond came from Benghazi, Africa where the state's religion was Islam and, it is well known that followers of this faith don't worship idols. From mineral composition and the high grade  quality of this diamond, the general consensus has been this one came from Golconda mines  in the state of Telengana (previously Andhra), southern India in the 1600s and probably stolen from a Hindu temple. Hence the name Idol's Eye.

This beautiful diamond from no where  came up at Christie's sale in London on July 14th, 1865, and then  it was described as "a splendid large diamond known as the Idol's Eye set round with 18 smaller brilliants and a frame work of small brilliants. The 34th Ottoman Sultan  Abdul Hamid II (1842-1918)  became the first authentic owner after Christie's sale.  Further, a reexamination of the cut of the diamond - a  fine combination of old  Golconda cut and triangular brilliant cut, its  slight bluish tinge  and the records of prevalence of some old  Hindu Gods' idols with odd-eye configuration in the  temples  of southern India, it was concluded that  this diamond was  of Golconda origin and  was most probably taken  off the eye of a Hindu God.

The owner of this  70.21 carats  “blue white Golconda diamond”, Abdul Hamid II headed the autocratic Ottoman Empire. Being a ruthless ruler, during a  violent coup he was thrown out of power and forced to live in exile. The Sultan died in 1918 having lost his kingdom and at last his life savings - valuable jewelry  along with this diamond to his servant  who became  his traitor.
A good hearted philanthropist Mrs.May Bonfils Stanton once owned  idol's eye diamond. www.cogreatwomen.org


Banished autocratic Ottoman Ruler Sultan Abdul Hamid II. once owned idol's eye diamond. www.langantiques.com
Later this diamond saw a few  owners , none of them kept it for long duration. At last it came to the hands of  Mrs. May Bonfils Stanton, a recluse and  daughter of  Frederick G. Bonfils, millionaire, publisher and co-founder of the Denver Post. Her passion was collection of glorious jewels from all over  the world. A  woman of charitable disposition and beauty after her death at a ripe age, as per will,  the proceeds through sale  were dispersed among various charities. From Chicago Jeweler Harry Leveinson (1967),  it changed  hand  to Lawrence Graff of London (1979) for a reasonable sum.

Graff, along with a couple of other diamonds sold it to   an unidentified man for a breath-taking, record breaking sum in early 1980s. The secret buyer, it is believed,  was none other than controversial President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines who was removed from his office in 1986. He and his arrogant and  highly fashion-conscious wife embezzled public money that ran into several billion dollars.  

A note on the Idol Eye's curse: In this particular case, apparently the idol eye's curse, if it were on it, forced President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife - the most corrupt couple  in the world ever surfaced- to lose every thing they had earned illegally. The idol's curse pushed them from sublime to disgrace. This was also true of Sultan Hamid II of Ottoman Empire who ruled his land with an iron hand and earned the ire of his poor subjects.  He too ultimately died unsung in exile. A big push from the summit to the abyss.
 

Perhaps one  may be tempted to ask," How come, other owners of Idol's Eye diamond were sparred  from the curse?  Set aside the rationality factor. The simple answer has two probabilities -
most of the owners did not keep the diamond for a long time, and perhaps, would not have worn it for longer duration.

The other logical conclusion is  the owners, most probably would have earned their fortune in an honorable way. May be they might have committed some wheeling and dealings that may be of minor in nature  and can be excused.
 

As for Mrs Bonfils, who used to wear the Idol's Eye diamond as a pendent in her necklace  every  day during her breakfast time, though rich and recluse,  she was a good hearted woman with no ulterior motives and ill-feelings. In the twilight of her eventful, luxurious life she, long before her death, for some time had decided to sell all her jewelry  collections for the purpose of  charity.
 

If a person has a big heart and cares for other human beings, irrespective of caste, color, creed and faith , he is blessed by the almighty, be it Lord Krishna or Christ or Holy Spirit and  no curse will haunt and hurt him. Mrs. Stanton, daughter of Frederick G. Bonfils (of Denver Post) who died in 1962, is a good example.

The conclusion regarding idol's curse drawn  above is based on logic  and the  age old Hindu ''Dharma.''