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Blue Heart Diamond Ring

Blue Heart Diamond Ring

This 30.62 carat heart-shaped, brilliant cut blue diamond was faceted by French jeweler Atanik Eknayan of Paris in 1909-1910. The stone was purchased by the French jeweler, Pierre Cartier in 1910. Cartier then sold it to a Mrs. Unzue of Argentina in a lily-of-the-valley brooch in 1910. It was next acquired by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1953 and sold to a German baron in the form of a pendant. In 1959, it was purchased by Harry Winston who mounted it in its present platinum ring setting, surrounded by 35 round brilliant cut white diamonds. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded the Blue Heart as a natural fancy deep blue diamond with a clarity grade of VS-2. Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post generously gifted the Blue Heart Diamond to the National Gem Collection in 1964.

Clagett Bracelet

Clagett Bracelet

This Art Deco platinum and enamel bracelet contains 626 diamonds, 73 emeralds, 48 sapphires, and 20 rubies. The bracelet was made by French jeweler, Geoffroy et Eisenmann, in Paris during the 1920's.

DeYoung Pink Diamond

DeYoung Pink Diamond

Very few diamonds are completely without color. In most diamonds, a few atoms of nitrogen substitute for some of the carbon as the crystals form, causing the stones to be tinted yellow or brown. When the hue is sufficiently intense, the diamond is graded "fancy-colored." The popularity of colored diamonds has increased dramatically in recent years, and some of the most valuable gemstones are fancy-colored diamonds, especially in shades of blue, pink, and red. This 2.86-carat pear shaped pink diamond comes from the Williamson mine in Tanzania. Red and pink diamonds probably owe their color to light interacting with defects, such as missing atoms, in their crystalline structure. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded the DeYoung Pink as a natural fancy intense purplish-pink diamond with a clarity grade of SI-1.

DeYoung Red Diamond

DeYoung Red Diamond

The cause of the extremely rare deep red color of certain diamonds is not understood, but might be related to defects in the crystals' atomic structure. The DeYoung Red Diamond is one of the largest known natural fancy dark red diamonds. It is a modified round brilliant cut diamond that has a clarity grade of VS-2 and weighs 5.03 carats. The diamond was acquired by S. Sydney DeYoung, a Boston jeweler, as part of a collection of estate jewelry in which it was wrongly identified as a garnet. It was gifted to the National Gem Collection by Mr. DeYoung in 1987.

Diamond and Enamel Bracelet

Diamond and Enamel Bracelet

A beautiful diamond bracelet from the Art Deco design period (1925-1939) was gifted to the National Gem Collection in 2007. The diamond and enamel bracelet was designed by Tiffany & Co. The platinum bracelet has a flexible band set with square-cut and round-cut diamonds, totaling approximately 9.85 carats. The square-cut diamonds are flanked by black enamel bands.

Diamond and Ruby Bracelet

Diamond and Ruby Bracelet

A beautiful diamond and ruby bracelet from the Art Deco design period (1925-1939) was gifted to the National Gem Collection in 2007. The bracelet was designed by Tiffany & Co. and exhibits the Art Deco geometric shapes. This platinum bracelet has four rectangular panels set with round-cut and square-cut diamonds, totaling approximately 13.50 carats and is accented with French-cut rubies totaling approximately 11 carats.

Diamond Bracelet

Diamond Bracelet

A beautiful diamond bracelet from the Art Deco design period (1925-1939) was gifted to the National Gem Collection in 2007. The all diamond bracelet was designed by the French firm, Lacloche. This platinum bracelet has 3 rectangular panels set with square-cut, baguette-cut, marquise-cut, and round-brilliant cut diamonds, totaling approximately 14.30 carats.

Hazen Diamond Necklace

Hazen Diamond Necklace

The Hazen Diamond Necklace was designed by Harry Winston, Inc. The necklace is made of platinum and contains 325 diamonds that have a total weight of approximately 131.4 carats. A major factor leading to diamond's popularity as a gem was the development of cutting styles that best display the diamond's brilliance and fire. The Hazen Diamond Necklace is a good example of this as it incorporates several different cutting styles, including the pear, baguette, square, and round brilliant cuts. Mrs. Lita Annenberg Hazen donated the necklace to the Smithsonian in 1979.

Hooker Diamonds

Hooker Diamonds

Diamonds are not always colorless. In most diamonds, a few atoms of nitrogen substituted for some of the carbon as the crystals formed, tint the diamonds yellow or brown. In general the more yellow a diamond, the less it is worth, until the hue is sufficiently intense for the gem to be graded a fancy color. This suite of jewelry was designed by Cartier, Inc. in the late 1980s. The necklace has 50 starburst-cut fancy yellow diamonds set in yellow gold that range in size from 1.0-20 carats and total approximately 245 carats. The matching ear clips each feature a 25.3 carat yellow diamond surrounded by baguette and pear shaped colorless diamonds. The ring showcases a 61.12 carat fancy yellow diamond flanked by triangular cut colorless diamonds. This suite of fancy colored diamond jewelry was a gift of Mrs. Janet Annenberg Hooker to the Smithsonian in 1994.

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is one of the world's most famous gems - renowned for its nearly flawless clarity, rare deep blue color, and eventful history. It is surrounded by 16 white diamonds and suspended from a platinum chain bearing 46 more diamonds. This photograph was taken while the Hope was out of its current mounting. For more detailed information please see "The Hope Diamond" in the "Gems and Minerals" section of the Dynamic Earth.

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is one of the world's most famous gems - renowned for its nearly flawless clarity, rare deep blue color, and eventful history. It was formed more than a billion years ago at a depth of about 150 km. The diamond was brought to the earth's surface by a volcanic eruption. The rare blue color of the jewel is attributed to light interaction with an impurity in the diamond's internal atomic structure. As the diamond grew, a few atoms of boron entered the crystal structure. In 1668, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a French gem merchant, sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France. During the French Revolution it was stolen, and did not reappear until 1812 in London. Evidence suggests that King George IV of England purchased the recut diamond in 1820. Sometime after George IV's death in 1830, the diamond was purchased by Henry Philip Hope, whose name it bears today. After Hope's death in 1839, the diamond was left to his family. In 1901, after undergoing many more ownership changes, the diamond was sold to a series of merchants, including Pierre Cartier, who designed the current setting. In 1912, Cartier sold the Hope Diamond to Evalyn Walsh McLean, a Washington, D.C. socialite. Finally, in 1949 Harry Winston purchased the diamond, including it in his Court of Jewels collection, which toured the world for charity. In 1958, Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, where it remains today. The Hope Diamond is currently in a platinum setting, surrounded by sixteen white pear-shaped and cushion-cut diamonds, suspended from a chain containing forty-five diamonds - the original design by Pierre Cartier around 1910. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded the Hope as a natural fancy deep grayish blue diamond with a clarity grade of VS-1. For more information please see "The Hope Diamond" under the "Gems and Minerals" section of the Dynamic Earth.

Marie Antoinette Diamond Earrings

Marie Antoinette Diamond Earrings

These two large, pear-shaped diamonds weigh 14.25 and 20.34 carats respectively. They once were supposedly set in earrings that belonged to Marie Antoinette, the queen of France who was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution. The diamonds were later acquired by the Grand Duchess Tatiana Yousupoff of Russia. When jeweler Pierre Cartier puchased the diamond earrings in 1928, their authenticity was attested to in an affidavit by Russian Princess Zenaide Yousupoff and her son, Prince Felix Yousupoff, stating that they originally belonged to Queen Marie-Antoinette and have never been reset in the one hundred years that they were in the family. Marjorie Merriweather Post acquired the earrings from Pierre Cartier in October 1928. Harry Winston reset the large diamonds in platinum replicas of the "original" silver settings in 1959. Cartier, Inc. designed the triangular tops. In November 1964, Mrs. Post's daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Barzin, donated the earrings, along with the original settings to the Smithsonian Institution. The diamonds are originally from India or Brazil, the only significant sources of diamonds in the eighteenth century.

Marie Louise Diadem

Marie Louise Diadem

The Marie-Louise Diadem was most likely a wedding gift from Napoleon I to his second wife, Empress Marie-Louise in 1810. The diadem was originally part of a set that also included a necklace, comb, belt buckle, and earrings, all made of emeralds and diamonds set in silver and gold, made by French jeweler Etienne Nitot et Fils of Paris. Empress Marie-Louise bequeathed the diadem to her Hapsburg aunt, Archduchess Elise. Archduke Karl Stefan Hapsburg of Sweden, a descendent of the Archduchess sold the set to Van Cleef & Arpels in 1953, along with a document attesting to their provenance. Between May 1954 and June 1956, the emeralds were removed and sold individually in pieces of jewelry as "emeralds from the historic Napoleon Tiara." Between 1956 and 1962, Van Cleef & Arpels mounted turquoise to replace the original emeralds in the diadem. In 1962, the diadem was displayed in the Louvre in Paris with the necklace, earrings, and comb in an exhibit about Empress Marie-Louise. In 1971, Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune, purchased the diadem for the Smithsonian Institution. There are 1,006 old mine cut diamonds weighing a total of 700 carats and 79 Persian turquoise stones weighing a total of 540 carats.

Napoleon Diamond Necklace

Napoleon Diamond Necklace

The Napoleon necklace was a gift from Emperor Napoleon I to his second wife, Marie-Louise to celebrate the birth of their son, Napoleon II, the Emperor of Rome, in 1811. The silver and gold set necklace, designed by Etienne Nitot et Fils of Paris was completed in 1811 and consists of 234 diamonds: 28 oval and cushion-cut diamonds, suspending a fringe of 19 briolette-cut oval and pear shaped diamonds and accented by small, round diamonds and diamond set motifs. The diamonds are cut in the "old mine" style, the precursor to the modern brilliant cut, resulting in great dispersion (flashes of color as the stone moves in light), but less brilliance due to less light refraction through the top of the stone. The necklace has an estimated total weight of 263 carats, the largest single diamond weighing approximately 10.4 carats. When Marie-Louise died in 1847, the necklace was given to her sister-in-law, Archduchess Sophie of Austria, who removed two stones to shorten the necklace. Earrings were made with the two removed stones, the whereabouts of which are unknown. In 1872, the necklace was bequeathed to the Archduchess' son, Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria. In 1948, Archduke Ludwig's grandson, Prince Franz Joseph of Liechtenstein, sold the necklace to a French collector who then sold it to Harry Winston in 1960. Marjorie Merriweather Post obtained the necklace from Winston and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1962.

Oppenheimer Diamond

Oppenheimer Diamond

The 253.7-carat Oppenheimer Diamond is in the shape of an octahedron (an eight-sided double pyramid), which is the common shape for diamond crystals. This diamond is 3.8 cm (1.5 in) in height and was discovered at the Dutoitspan Mine near Kimberley, South Africa in 1964. The Oppenheimer Diamond is unusual because diamonds of its size are rarely left uncut. It is named in honor of Sir Ernest Oppenheimer former chairman of the Board of Directors of DeBeers Consolidated Mines.

Portuguese Diamond

Portuguese Diamond

The Portuguese Diamond at 127.01 carats is the largest faceted diamond in the National Gem Collection. It was graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as M in color and VS-1 in clarity, with very strong blue fluorescence. Its near flawless clarity and unusual octagonal emerald cut make it one of the world's most magnificent diamond gems. The apparent cloudiness in the stone is actually blue fluorescence that is so intense it shows up even under incandescent lights. In 1928, Peggy Hopkins Joyce purchased the diamond from Black, Starr & Frost, mounted on a diamond-studded platinum choker. The jewelry firm indicated that the diamond was found at the Premier Mine, Kimberley, South Africa, in 1910, and that Black, Starr & Frost obtained it shortly after its discovery. In 1951, Harry Winston acquired the Portuguese Diamond from Miss Peggy Hopkins Joyce, a glamour girl of the 1920s. For the next several years it traveled around the country as part of his "Court of Jewels" exhibition. In 1963, the Smithsonian acquired the diamond from Mr. Winston in exchange for 2,400 carats of small diamonds.

Shepard Diamond

Shepard Diamond

In the formation of most diamonds, a few atoms of nitrogen are substituted for carbon. These imperfections interact with light to tint the stones yellow or brown. Typically, the more yellow a stone is, the less it is worth, unless the color is intense enough for the stone to be graded a fancy color, such as this deep yellow. The Shepard Diamond pictured here was acquired in exchange for a small collection of diamonds that had been seized as smuggled goods by the United States Customs Service. The diamond is named for the Smithsonian employee who facilitated the exchange, Glen P. Shephard, former Purchasing Officer, in 1958.

Sherman Diamond

Sherman Diamond

The William Sherman Diamond is one of five pendants from a diamond necklace. The necklace was a gift from the khedive of Egypt to Civil War General William Sherman for his daughter's wedding in 1865. The necklace was subsequently divided among his three daughters. The pendant has an 8.52-carat pear shaped diamond surrounded by 17 round diamonds, graduating in size. It was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by Cecilia McCallum Bolin in memory of her mother, Mary Sherman McCallum.

Victoria-Transvaal Diamond Necklace

Victoria-Transvaal Diamond Necklace

The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond was cut from a 240-carat rough stone found at the Premier Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1951. The fancy "champagne-colored" diamond was originally cut to 75 carats but then later recut to 67.89 carats for better proportions. The diamond was graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and given a color grade of natural fancy brown-yellow with a clarity grade of VS-2. The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond is a pear-shaped brilliant cut and has 116 facets. The yellow gold necklace was designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc., and consists of 66 round brilliant cut diamonds, fringed with 10 drop motifs, each set with 2 marquise-cut diamonds, a pear-shaped diamond, and a small round brilliant cut diamond. Total weight of the 106 diamonds in the necklace is approximately 45 carats. The Victoria-Transvaal diamond was worn in the 1952 movie "Tarzan's Savage Fury."

Wilkinson Diamond Brooch

Wilkinson Diamond Brooch

This yellow gold brooch contains 71 fancy-colored diamonds ranging in hue from orange to brown. The marquise-cut, pear-shaped, and round brilliant-cut diamonds range from 0.3-2.5 carats each and total approximately 61.30 carats.


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