Hope Diamond appears in its new setting
Last year we reported on the legendary Hope Diamond and a competition run by The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. to choose a new setting for the exceptional ‘deep blue’ gem.
The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond was donated to The Smithsonian just over 50 years ago by Harry Winston, but it has quite a history over the last 300+ years.
It was brought to Europe from India in the mid-17th century by French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier and at the time it was known as the Tavenier Blue, weighing 115 carats.
Its origin is not known for sure but it’s likely that the original gem came from the Kollur mine in Andhra Pradesh, India, then part of the Golconda kingdom. It came to be known as the French Blue after it was sold by Tavernier to King Louis XIV in 1669 and recut by the crown jeweller into a ‘smaller’ diamond of a little over 67 carats.
The French Blue disappeared during the French Revolution, but reappeared 20 years later in London in 1812, now re-cut to a size which matches up with the Hope Diamond. In 1839, the diamond appeared in a published catalogue of the gem collection of Henry Philip Hope, from whom it took its name.
The much-celebrated diamond is said to be cursed, but it looks fabulous in its new platinum and diamond setting. The winning design was chosen by a public vote and is called ‘Embracing Hope‘.
We think these pictures do this fabulous diamond far more justice than mere words or an extended diamond history lesson from us… so here it is: Enjoy!
images courtesy of Harry Winston (c)