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A Dream Diamond Contest: I Wonder How Elizabeth Taylor Would Vote

By Cynthia Sliwa

Posted on August 20, 2009

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If you love jewelry, there is a new and almost irresistible contest that seeks your input: If you could reset perhaps the most famous diamond in the world, which of three designs would you choose?The diamond is the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond, and the contest marks the 50-year anniversary of the donation of the renowned blue stone by jeweler Harry Winston to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. The House of Harry Winston proffers three possible settings for your consideration, meant to replace (on a temporary basis) the diamond’s current Cartier-designed setting.

Vote through September 7 at http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/site/smithsonian/hope.html.
The setting that receives the most votes will be featured, with the reset diamond, of course, in a documentary entitled “Mystery of the Hope Diamond” that will premiere on the Smithsonian Channel in March 2010. By the end of 2010, the stone will be returned to its previous setting.

Let’s take a look at the three new setting choices:

hope-diamond-setting-choices-aug-2009_rev-200dpi.jpg

All of the designs have a sense of movement. The Journey of Hope design is notable for its asymmetry. To my eye, this is the least formal of the three designs. The Renewed Hope design has a waterfall of five strands of white diamonds dangling beneath the stone, bound to throw off incredible sparkle with each movement. The question is whether that feature would be important if the design is to be kept on display in a case rather than adorning the neck of a woman. Finally, the Embracing Hope design not only has a sensuousness due to its undulating design, but also keeps the focus most closely directed upon the stone it features in its “embrace.”

All of the designs are lovely, and any of them would provide a magnificent setting for the Hope Diamond. No doubt each setting will have its proponents.

Have some fun. Think about which one you would prefer. And if blue isn’t your color, well, there’s nothing to be done about that.

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