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The Cursed Amethyst

Atlas Obscura is presenting its annual 31 Days of Halloween series, full of spooky and macabre stories about real people, places, and things. Today, we learn about the Cursed Amethyst.

The Delhi Purple Sapphire (which is not a sapphire) was supposedly stolen from the Temple of Indra in Kanpur, India. Afterward, calamities befell every subsequent owner, including several untimely deaths, and all attempts to dispose of the gem only saw it bounce back. One hapless owner gave it to a friend, who committed suicide and willed the stone back to the one who gave it to him! Another owner, convinced of the curse, threw it in a canal, but it was salvaged and returned to the owner. Finally, Edward Heron-Allen locked the stone away in seven boxes, each within another, and locked it in a bank vault. His wishes were that it not be opened until three years after his death.

In 1946, Heron-Allen's instructions were carried out, and the amethyst was donated to the Natural History Museum in London -with a stern warning. Read about the trail of misery left behind by the jewel at Atlas Obscura

(Image credit: Allison Meier)


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