The French Blue by Richard W. Wise
Between the years 1630-1668, the French gem merchant, Jean Baptiste Tavernier made six voyages to Persia and India. His true exploits by land and sea go far beyond the ink and paper exploits of fictional adventurers. Tavernier met and did business with some of the world's most powerful princes and romanced some of the most beautiful women. Sometime during his last voyage, Tavernier acquired a magnificent 116 carat blue diamond. Upon his return to France, he sold the diamond to Louis XIV, for the equivalent of 147 kilos of pure gold. The Sun King made him Baron of Aubonne. The remains of Tavernier s blue gem is known today as the Hope Diamond, but for the first 200 years of its history it was called simply The French Blue .