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If you're a Providence local, you've probably heard whispers about the new plans for Belcourt Castle in Newport over the past couple of years. It's been said that Carolyn Rafaelian,  founder of jewelry company, Alex and Ani, has purchased this property for $3.6 million--with plans of renovating the house to be used as a tour house, art gallery and event space.

Rafaelian was recently interviewed by the NY Times where she talked about the success of Alex and Ani, as well as her future plans of making the jewelry line into a full fledged lifestyle brand. With the continued success of her business ventures, comes the ability to also invest in her long-time dreams. One of which is to own a Newport mansion, she said.

Rafaelian is proud to say that purchasing this property was a dream come true for her. “My dream was to own a Newport mansion: that’s what I always wrote in the comment books,” she says, as she would take the walking tours as a student at URI.

The sale was completed in November of 2012 from the Tinney family who've owned it for 56 years. Donald Tinney made it his life's dream to own a large home with architectural beauty, and with a history allowing him to preserve its past. Once he had obtained Belcourt, he created a home filled with collectables and antiques from around the world. An official statement on the home's website deems Donald to have been an artist, who not only dreamed of his life's goals, but also lived it.

His wife, Harle Tinney, was left to preserve its integrity by finding an owner who shared the same love for restoration and architectural history. We're sure that Rafaelian has had to share her plans for the mansion before obtaining it--so her dreams of also owning a home big enough for even bigger plans probably seemed like a good fit.

Belcourt has had an interesting history thus far, with many owners who've shared a love of art and history. One event, in particular, is a much-publicized family court battle in the 90's over its home value and property deeds.  This drawn out family feud had left Harle Tinney financially unable to maintain Belcourt, leaving her with no other option than to sell it.

Interestingly enough, Rafaelian confessed to acknowledging the heavy, somewhat toxic energy of the home's past, and has made an effort to cleanse it with shamam cleansing ceremonies--taking the term "face-lift" to a whole other level.

Other than an already spent $5 million on restorations, a bit of Alex and Ani energy-cleanse may have been the necessary rejuvenation it needed.

Belcourt Castle has now been officially renamed to Belcourt of Newport  and will officially be opened to the public next Summer.

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Jim DeRentis
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