Smithsonian Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Hope Diamond



The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the donation of one of the world’s most famous gems-the Hope Diamond.

Three contemporary settings have been designed by Harry Winston Inc. to mark the occasion. The public is invited to vote online for their favorite beginning today, Aug. 19, at www.smithsonianchannel.com/hope; voting will continue through Sept. 7.

The winning setting will be announced at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., this fall.

The diamond will not be exhibited in the setting until May 2010, coinciding with the premiere of Smithsonian Channel’s "Mystery of the Hope Diamond" documentary-a high-definition film about the full story of the Hope Diamond, from its birth to its mysterious journey through Europe and its final home at the Smithsonian.

Until the new setting is fabricated, the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond will be exhibited as a stand-alone gem with no setting at all. Although removed from its setting on occasion for research and cleaning, this is the first time that the Hope Diamond will be on public view entirely by itself.

For more information, visit www.mnh.si.edu or call (202) 633-1000.