After looking through some Gale resources I discovered that the curse of the Hope Diamond dates back to the beginning of the diamond, where it was stolen from an Indian temple in the mid-1600’s. The gods were angered and supposedly set a curse on the thief and all of the future owners of the diamond.
During the late 1700’s King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded after owning the diamond; soon after the diamond fell into the hands of the Hope family, until debt forced them to sell it. Evelyn Walsh McLean owned it next. Pierre Cartier, a friend of hers, encouraged her to buy the diamond, especially because there was a history behind it. At this time Evelyn was very wealthy, and along with that had a lot of unhappiness and turmoil in her life. Little did they know she would experience such tragedies after she bought the diamond–her youngest son died in an automobile accident, her daughter committed suicide, and her husband was put into an insane asylum.
She was the last private owner of the diamond before Harry Winston, a jeweler, bought the diamond in 1949 after the passing of Walsh. He then and donated the diamond to the Smithsonian in 1958.