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Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is probably the most famous jewel rumored to be cursed. The 45.52 carat gem has had a succession of owners dating back to the 17th century, and as noted in an article in the Jan. 29, 1911, edition of The New York Times, many of them suffered an untimely demise.

The owners included Prince Ivan Kanitovski, who was killed by Russian revolutionaries; Simon Mencharides, who died with his wife and child in a car accident; and French diamond merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier, who was "torn to pieces by wild dogs in Constantinople," the Times said.

The article was prompted by the purchase of the diamond by Edward "Ned" McLean for more than $300,000 ($7.4 million today). It was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in the late 1950s.

Marvin Joseph | Washington Post | Getty Images