The cursed Delhi Purple Sapphire is going to be on display at the Natural History Museum’s gemstone exhibit “The Vault,” in London and while the amethyst stone itself isn’t rare or even pricey, the curse it carries makes for a fascinating story.
According to The Times, the amethyst was first brought to the UK by Colonel W Ferris, after being looted from the Temple of Indra in Kanpur in 1857. The soldier lost all of his money and health and the same ill-fortune fell upon his son when he inherited it. A family friend who later owned it, committed suicide. In 1890, Heron-Allen got the stone and went onto suffer great misfortunes. In 1904 after having had enough of it, he had the amethyst shipped to his bankers stating that it was to stay locked away until after his death.
The curse didn’t just end with that. The Times reports that seven years ago John Whittaker, former head of micropalaeontology at the Natural History Museum, took the amethyst to the first annual symposium of the Heron-Allen Society and, on the way home from it, was caught in a huge thunderstorm. At the second symposium he fell sick with a stomach bug and on the third he got a kidney stone.