There are many stories of cursed items in pop culture. Haunted items such as the Hope Diamond and the Annabelle doll had a history of being linked to death and misfortune. One cursed item was a ring first owned by Rudolph Valentino, a Tiger’s Eye quartz called “The Destiny Ring.” Many people believe this ring is responsible for his tragic death as well as other tragedies connected to it.
Before the ring…
Silent film star Rudolph Valentino was often blamed for many things during his acting career. One reason for this is because of the way he looked–his exotic good looks and masculine attitude were seen as a challenge to the men who envied him. A reporter wrote an article in which they accused Valentino of causing the feminization of American males, by calling him a “pink powder puff”. Valentino became angered by this statement, so he decided to prove them wrong with one purchase: The Destiny Ring.
The Curse Strikes
Upon finding the ring in a store in San Francisco, Valentino learned about the curse attached to it. Despite this warning, Valentino bought the ring anyway and began to wear it while filming The Young Rajah. The film would end up being the biggest flop of his career. Only after removing the ring did things begin to improve. The Son of the Sheik premiered eight weeks later with much more critical and audience praise. The moment Valentino put on the ring again, he became ill and eventually died from peritonitis.
After Valentino’s death, his alleged fiancé Pola Negri inherited his ring. She chose the ring for its beauty and how much it meant to him. It wasn’t long after she wore the ring that she fell ill and while recovering from her sickness, her career as an actress quickly came to an end. Negri ended up being victim number two to the curse. While not fatally affected, the next few victims would unfortunately be.
Next on the list of victims would be Russ Columbo, a singer and violinist hired by Polo Negri. His resemblance to Rudolph Valentino apparently sparked her infatuation with him. His fate was unintentionally sealed to his destiny when she gave him the ring, stating, “From one Valentino to another.” Within days of receiving the ring, Columbo was shot and killed by his friend in a freak accident.
The Casino Brothers
Columbo’s close friend, Joe Casino, then received the ring. To honor his friend and not endanger his career, Casino decided to display the ring. As time passed, the ring’s reputation faded and Casino eventually wore the ring. A week later, however, he was struck and killed by a car. The ring’s curse was front page news at this point, and people were terrified. In spite of the curse, Del Casino, Joe’s brother, didn’t feel intimidated by the ring since he wasn’t superstitious. For a while, Casino wore the ring and nothing happened, until a robber broke into Casino’s house. While Del Casino survived the ring’s curse, the burglar who stole the ring was instantly shot by the police.
Jack Dunn, the final victim
At this time, the story of the cursed ring and the life of Rudolph Valentino became the subject of a film premise. Actor Jack Dunn participated in a screen test for the role of Valentino and he dressed in Valentinos actual clothes as well as wore the his real ring. Del Casino, who was now a firm believer of the curse, reluctantly lent the ring to be worn by Dunn. The curse of the ring would strike again as two weeks after wearing the ring, Dunn had died of blood poisoning. After Dunn’s and Casino’s deaths, the ring was never worn by anyone again and was locked away in a bank vault. The bank that held the ring would eventually be the victim of a series of robberies and a huge fire that burnt the bank to the ground.
Where is it?
The Destiny Ring still holds many mysteries. The origin, how it was cursed, and where it is now are unknown. There are reports that the ring is locked in a vault, while other reports say it was destroyed in the bank fire. Regardless of the circumstances, perhaps it’s best never to find or wear the ring again.