Hope Diamond outside of its setting; Friday the gem returns to its original setting. (Photo courtesy of Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.) (Chip Clark)
As far as the Smithsonian goes, the diamond brings as many, if not more, tourists than the Wright Flyer, the pandas and the ruby slippers. It glitters at 45. 52 carats and holds many mysteries.
What the clamoring tourists will discover Friday is that the Hope Diamond has been returned to its original Cartier setting.
In November 2010 the museum reset the famous diamond after the public selected “Embracing Hope” as the new design. Harry Winston, Inc. created the new setting. The contest was part of the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the diamond at the museum, and the museum’s 100th year.
Recently the original setting and chain for the diamond have been polished and cleaned. “I dare say it never looked so good,” said Jeffrey Post, the curator of the National Gem Collection.