The Smithsonian's Hope Diamond Gets a Makeover
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Harry Winston's historic donation of the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, the world-renowned international jeweler has designed a new "Embracing Hope" setting for the legendary gem. The incredible necklace featuring the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond officially debuted today in Washington, D.C.
This is the first new setting for the fabled deep blue gem since it was given to the museum by Harry Winston himself in November 1958 to help found the National Gem Collection. Harry Winston, a premier diamond jeweler and luxury timepiece retailer, is the Luxist Awards' Readers' Choice Winner for Best Jewelry Line.
Designed and handcrafted in the Harry Winston design studio and jewelry workshop in New York, the temporary "Embracing Hope" setting suspends the Hope Diamond in a sculptural ribbon of 340 baguette diamonds set into platinum. Eight master jewelers devoted more than 1,000 hours to creating the exquisite new setting, which was selected from three different Winston designs by popular vote in an online poll in 2009.
Behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the necklace is featured in the new documentary Mystery of the Hope Diamond, scheduled to air on the Smithsonian Channel on November 21, 2010, including exclusive coverage of Estée Lauder global spokesmodel Hilary Rhoda wearing the jewel during an exclusive photo shoot at the museum (see gallery below).
The centerpiece of the National Gem Collection, the Hope Diamond was given to the museum by Winston as a gift to the world and to "help educate the public more about precious stones." One of the most renowned museum icons in the world, the Hope Diamond is today the most visited object in the entire Smithsonian, receiving more than seven million visitors annually.
Continuing Winston's legacy and commitment to the Smithsonian and National Gem Collection, the jeweler announced a gift of at least $1 million to support the museum's educational initiatives, which will be generated by the future sale of "Embracing Hope" reset with a new precious gemstone. Harry Winston's gift to the Smithsonian marks the inaugural gift of the Company's newly created Harry Winston Hope Foundation, dedicated to inspiring hope and changing lives through education.
Since 1932, Harry Winston's exquisite fine jewelry and timepiece designs have inspired international clients and connoisseurs. The history of The House of Harry Winston includes some of the most famous jewels in the world, including the Hope Diamond, the Lesotho, and the Jonker. The company has twenty salons worldwide, including New York, Beverly Hills, Paris, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong.