KidsPost News: Hope Diamond Is Displayed ??Naked'

The Hope Diamond is displayed without a jeweled setting.
The Hope Diamond is displayed without a jeweled setting. (By Pablo Martinez Monsivais -- Associated Press)
  Enlarge Photo    
Thursday, September 24, 2009

Naked Hope Diamond Is Rare Sight Indeed

-- The Hope Diamond went back on display yesterday at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. It is the first time the rare gem has been displayed "naked" -- that is, by itself rather than in a jeweled setting.

The famous blue diamond was formed under the Earth's surface a billion years ago and was found in India in the 17th century. It is the largest blue diamond known, weighing 45 carats, a measurement used for gems. It is about an inch in diameter and half an inch thick.

The Hope Diamond was originally much larger but has been cut down over the years. Detailed records of its history begin when it was sold to the king of France in 1668. After numerous owners through the years, it was donated to the Smithsonian in 1958. When he donated the gem, American jeweler Harry Winston mailed the diamond in a plain brown envelope via U.S. mail!

You can see it "naked" until April. A new setting is being made for the stone.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company