Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hope Diamond in its Temporary New Setting

Where: National Museum of Natural History

When: through November 13, 2011

The Smithsonian is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the diamond's donation and the 100th anniversary of the Museum's opening by displaying the Hope Diamond in a new, specially created setting.  In addition to seeing the gem itself, you can learn a good bit about the diamond at the exhibit.

The Hope Diamond is over 1 billion years old.  That's so old that I can't really comprehend it.  It was originally found in India and sold to King Louis XVI of France.  It was stolen during the French Revolution, but eventually it resurfaced and was bought by Henry Philip Hope, a London banker and gem collector.  The diamond was bought and sold several times, including once to Cartier.  Finally, Harry Winston bought it in 1958 and gave it to the Smithsonian.

The new setting was created by Harry Winston, Inc., and was chosen by an online vote sponsored by the Smithsonian Channel.

Verdict: Go see this lovely setting while it's still on display.  Note that the area around the gem is always crowded, so you may have to wait a few minutes to actually see the diamond.

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