Tag Archives: Smithsonian

Blingy Butterfly Gets The Royal Treatment

Now that the jewelry-barren landscape that was New York Fashion Week is behind me, it’s time to get back to blingy basics. And there’s no better way to celebrate than by ogling this bodacious butterfly bauble that just joined the storied coffers of the Smithsonian Institution.

Designed by Cindy Chao, the “Royal Butterfly” is a three-dimensional diamond-and gemstone-studded brooch that took over two years to create. The design is balanced by four large rough diamond slices and includes more than 20 color gradients comprised of 2,318 colorless and colored diamonds, color-changing sapphires, colored sapphires, rubies and tsavorites.

Color-changing sapphires? Awesome.
Chao generously gifted her “Royal Butterfly” to the Smithsonian, which now lives with some of the world’s most significant jewels, including the famous Hope Diamond.

The designer’s ‘hope’ was not only for viewers to appreciate the art in a new medium, but that it would also inspire “people to dream and create” and “continue to contribute to the evolution of culture and the world around them.”

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Ms. Chao? You had me at ‘color-changing sapphires’.

And if you’re hunkering for more Smithsonian sparkle, they just launched a branded jewelry line with QVC based on many of the pieces in their treasure chest. Check out Jewelry.com for more.

The Jewelry Insider

October 2, 2009

The Hope Diamond, one of the world’s most famous gems, is getting naked to celebrate 50 years at the Smithsonian. To honor the rare 45.52-carat blue diamond, the museum is designing three possible new settings for the stone, inviting the public to vote for their favorite by visiting:

http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/hope.

The winning setting will be announced this fall, and the gem will be shown in its new digs starting in May to celebrate the premiere of a Smithsonian Channel documentary on the diamond.

In the meantime, The Hope will be hanging out in the buff – a first for the storied gem.

“This is a rare and exciting opportunity for people to see the Hope Diamond as it has never been seen before,” said museum director Cristian Samper.

Formed more that a billion years ago, the diamond was mined in India and is believed to have been part of the French crown jewels. It later came into the possession of Henry Philip Hope, whose name it carries.

The Hope Diamond was long thought to have a curse, bringing bad luck to its owners, but Smithsonian officials say it has been kind to them, drawing throngs of visitors.

Here’s to another curse-free half-century!