Cursed Stone Goes On Display in London
The Times reports that around 34 years ago, Peter Tandy, a curator at the museum, found the stone in the mineral cabinets. it was set in a silver ring decorated with astrological symbols and mystical words with two scarab-carved gems attached. A note, written by Edward Heron-Allen, the amethyst's last owner, said that it carried a curse. He was so disturbed by the stone that he surrounded it with protective charms and sealed it in seven boxes before leaving it to the musuem. The legend goes that the purple stone was brought to the UK by a Bengal cavalryman Colonel W Ferris after being looted from the Temple of Indra in Cawnpore , now Kanpur in 1857. The soldier lost his money and health and the same happened to his son when he inherited it. A family friend who owned it for a while committed suicide. Heron-Allen got the stone in 1890 and suffered misfortunes, he gave the stone away twice and it caused misfortune both times including causing a singer to lose her voice. He was even said to have thrown it in a canal only to have it come back to him later through a dealer who bought it from a dredger. In 1904 he had enough and shipped it to his bankers saying it was to be locked away until after his death.
The curse has even stretched into modern times. 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. On the way home he was caught in a huge thunderstorm. A the second symposium he was sick with a stomach bug and on the third symposium he got a kidney stone.
It seems to me that the logical way to stop the curse would be to return it to the temple it came from but that wouldn't make for such an interesting story now would it?