Hope Spinel - An Amazing Color
This rare beautiful spinel gemstone, is called the Hope Spinel and was up for sale at Bonhams London Fine Jewellery Sale
If the Hope name sounds familiar it’s because it is also attached to the perhaps the world’s most famous diamond: The Hope Diamond. The 45.52-carat blue diamond is part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian National Natural History Museum in Washington, DC.
According to Bonhams auction site this beautiful gem was named by London banker Henry Philip Hope. He had amassed a large gem collection, including the Hope Diamond and Hope Spinel, and kept it until his death in 1839. Hope never married and secretly gifted his collection of about 700 gems to a nephew to avoid inheritance tax. Family wrangling caused the collection to be split among two nephews.
The spinel was eventually sold at auction in 1917 for approximately $1,600 (about $120,000 in today’s currency). It eventually turned up in the collection of Lady Mount Stephen, who was married to a Canadian philanthropist living in the UK. When Stephen died in 1933, the spinel went to her niece-by-marriage, Elsie Reford, who along with her husband, amassed one of the most important collections of art in Canada. The spinel was gifted to Elsie Refords’ granddaughter, who was also Lady Mount Stephen’s god daughter.