Thursday, 10 November 2016

throwback thursday - TBT #27

Nov 10th was the day that the world famous Hope diamond was donated to the smithsonian museum, in 1958.

the hope diamond is a unique, deep blue diamond which originated in india. it travelled far and wide across the globe, and has a long history of which a large part remains unknown. it is believed to be originally part of a bigger uncut stone called the 'tavernier blue', and after passing through the hands of the wealthy and royalty in england and france, it came to the united states in the early 1900s.

the gem merchant Harry Winston acquired the diamond from its previous owners in 1949, and in 1958, donated it to the collections of the smithsonian. the diamond was presented to the museum on nov 10th 1958, after it reached there by registered mail in a simple brown paper package . the package was insured for one million dollars, and the actual postage fee was $2.44 :)

see the original package in which it arrived in 1958, below -

image from wikipedia, here.

photo of the hope diamond being presented to the smithsonian institutions. 
image source - from the collection of the smithsonian archives here

and lastly, see my own photo of the hope diamond below, taken during a summer visit.
it is on permanent display in its own, specially lit, rotating glass case - in the gem section of the smithsonian natural history museum in washington d.c.  
the entire gem & mineral section is an incredible collection and makes you want to stay there for hours !

the hope diamond is 45.5 carats, and is in a platinum setting surrounded by 16 white diamonds, and suspended from a chain with 45 diamonds. 

do make it to the gem collection in the natural history museum if you are ever in washington d.c, but remember that it is almost always crowded :)



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