The Hope Diamond is going bare to celebrate a half-century at the Smithsonian.
The mysterious blue gem was donated to the National Museum of Natural History more than 50 years ago and the museum is celebrating by having a new setting designed.Starting in September, the 45.52 carat diamond will be exhibited as a stand-alone gem with no setting.New York jeweler Harry Winston donated the fabled diamond to the museum and his firm is designing three possible new settings.
The Hope has been removed from its setting for cleaning from time to time, but this is the first time it will be on public view by itself.Formed more than a billion years ago, the diamond was mined in India and later is believed to have been part of the French crown jewels, having been stolen during the French Revolution. It later came into the possession of Henry Philip Hope, whose name it carries.
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