The unexplained ''Curse'' of Delhi Purple Sapphire (Amethyst) stolen from the Hindu temple in 1857!!

Delhi purple sapphire (amethyst)  diamond

How come so many famous Indian diamonds are cursed  and invariably most owners in the past experienced untold miseries, pain and even death. Haunted by superstition and consequent fear psychosis,  the owners who could afford rich valuable gemstones, lost their joy and excitement in wearing them. What is the reason behind the so called curse. Reason: They were stolen or looted from the holy sanctified inner sanctuaries of  Hindu temples. Once they adorned the Hindu deities across the land. In some temples in the past era, the eyes of presiding deities were adorned with precious gem stones.

The rich and famous, driven by greed  and avarice were after them because to them they were symbols of affluence and power. To many Hindus owning any object from the places of worship is a sin. Overwhelming  greed and  selfishness led owners of stolen diamonds  to face dire consequences. The adage that mills of god grind slowly, but steadily is true in the case of greedy and grasping rich people who were mostly associated with European royalty

The intriguing story of the Delhi Purple Sapphire (set in a silver ring) which is not a beautiful one is  of recent origin brought to light by a young inquisitive curator  at London’s Natural History Museum. He  stumbled upon a type written note  along with the  stored gem. The silver  ring is  said to have certain  astrological signs. But the companying note opened the Pandora's box and revealed the long hidden  mysterious curse of the gemstone and its trail  of ill-effects on the owners. Some ended in death.  

Sapphire, a  variety of  mineral corundum (composed of Aluminum oxide; Al2O3) is the second hardest gemstone on the Mohs scale of hardness next to diamond.  Normally found in blue color  there are many colors associated with it. Mostly, they are associated with Volcanic rocks like Basalt or syenite solidified from the molten magma upon extrusion. Metamorphic rocks like Schists or gneisses do contain them.  For unknown reasons, sapphires are underrated and misunderstood.  They are  often given as gift to married couples at different anniversaries. The red corundum is commonly known as Ruby and Indian women like them very much. Purple sapphires are rare   As for Delhi Purple sapphire,  it is in reality amethyst, a variety of quartz and it does not have any gem quality.  No doubt, it is a question of mistaken identity and the misnomer keeps persisting for name sake.

Cursed Delhi Purple Sapphire with silver

Crystalline  amethyst (Quartz)

Above image: Amethyst  in crystalline form  It is a semiprecious stone, a purple variety of quartz (SiO2) and  its violet color  is due to  irradiation, impurities of iron and  some other  transition metals, and  trace elements.

Indira temple, Kanpur.

From the story in the note we understand  the red stone it was looted from the  Temple of demi god Indra during the tumultuous first war of independence in 1857 (earlier known as Sepoy Mutiny) against the obnoxious rule of the English company. The trouble began at the Cantonment of Meerut city against the EIC's army. The northern Indian states were  thrown into turmoil, leading to chaos and hell-bent rioting  because the British never gave in.  During this period, many temples and palaces were looted by the British troops for treasure. The red stone was stolen by the British army from a Hindu temple  dedicated to Demigod Indira in Cawnpore (Kanpur)  Then on the gem stone was jinxed because of a curse cast on it.  

Indian revolt. Indian soldiers blown before the cannons.

1857 Indian revolt.


The curse had begun to take hold on the owners sooner than expected.   Colonel W. Ferris, a Bengal Cavalryman,  was the first one to bring the red sapphire to England and soon he and his family  faced all kinds of health issues on account of bad investment in company shares. His friend who possessed the red stone was driven to commit suicide. 

 Edward Heron-Allen,

Above image: Well educated Englishman  Edward Heron-Allen. He  acquired the Delhi purple sapphire (Amethyst) in 1890 and found himself in misfortunes. He threw the jinxed stone into  a dirty canal,  to end his bad luck, but still the stone came back to haunt him Credit-. Wake Forest Univ. Library, NC, USA-----  

Ill-effects of the curse continued unabated and this time, a friend of Oscar Wilde  one  Edward Heron-Allen, a well-read man faced a series of misfortunes in succession which he never thought of. Having become  wary of the cursed sapphire  he made a vain attempt to  tried get rid of it on many  occasions, by gifting it to his a close friends. But they  returned the stone to him  as they were griped by some kind of fear.  His friend and a singer, upon receiving it faced a series of troubles, including the loss of his voice.    In one case, the recipient was a singer who lost her voice upon receiving the stone. So Edward Allen  is said to have  thrown the gemstone into the  Regent's Canal to avoid it for good. Unfortunately, as ill-luck would have it,  it was returned to him 3 months later  by a dredger and no doubt, he was at a loss. 

Superstition took precedence over his rationalistic attitude and his strong belief in curse on the red stone made  Heron-Allen take a firm decision. With a view to safeguarding his new-born daughter in 1904 Edward locked away the stone inside a box, leaving instructions to his banker not to open it until three years after his death.  Heron-Allen later  donated  the sapphire to the Natural History Museum, London  on condition that  that the box was to  be opened  as per his instruction in the note.  Further, he firmly instructed that his daughter should not be ever allowed to  touch or be in possession of the ill-fated box.  Heron-Allen' final words in  his note were, "Whoever shall then open it, shall first read out this warning, and then do as he pleases with the jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it into the sea".After his death in 1943, his daughter wanted the red stone to be with the museum for ever.

In 2004  John Whittaker, a member of the Natural History Museum  experienced  nightmare on a couple of occasions while personally transporting the diamond to the instructed destinations. Mr.  Whittaker claimed  that he had most horrible and hair-splitting experience while in charge of transporting the gemstone and almost facing  near death situation.  By providence he came out alive. 

The moot question is: Does the Delhi sapphire carry a curse or is it a matter of conjecture - mind over matter?. How do you explain a series of misfortunes experienced by the owners of the stone? . It is a puzzle wrapped around by layers of riddle.  When things happen far beyond our comprehension, Hindus will set aside such things as the edit of God that can never be changed.