1908-1909Selim Habib and Rumors of a Curse
Joseph Frankel's Sons & Co. finally found a buyer for the Hope Diamond in 1908: Selim Habib, a Turkish diamond collector and merchant who purchased the Hope Diamond for a reported $200,000 (~5 million 2014 dollars). According to the New York Times, Selim Habib soon had financial troubles, and in 1909, he sold his gem collection, including the Hope Diamond (Kurin, 2006). His financial difficulties and a later, incorrect report of his death at sea contributed to the growing myth of a curse on the Hope Diamond.
Habib's collection was put up for auction at the Hotel Drouot in Paris, France on June 24, 1909. Jeweler and gem expert Louis Aucoc oversaw the auction, withdrawing the Hope Diamond from the sale before selling it to jeweler C. N. Rosenau for 400,000 francs (Kurin 2006).
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