In Which We View the Smithsonian Sparklies

in travelfeed •  2 months ago 

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Maria Louise Diadem

I am definitely one of those who likes things that sparkle! My little ADHD eyes will always get distracted by something shiny. So of course, gemstones are very appealing, and if you visit the Smithsonian in Washington DC, you can see an entire display of gemstones and jewelry!

One of my favorites is the Maria Louise Diadem, imported from Iran by Napoleon to give to his second wife. It was originally set with emeralds, which have been replaced with beautiful turquoise.

Then there is the Hall Sapphire Necklace, designed by Harry Winston, set with 36 sapphires from Sri Lanka and accented by 435 diamonds.

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Another Harry Winston creation featured at the Smithsonian is the Hazen Diamond Necklace, sparkling with 325 diamonds.

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The emerald is my birthstone, and there are some lovely emeralds featured in this necklace. 24 baroque-cut emeralds from Colombia shine in this art deco designed piece.

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My other favorite emerald is one I don't have a name for, but it's impressive nonetheless.

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One of my favorites is the Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace. There are nine blue diamonds in the pendant.

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And then, of course, one has to pay tribute to the famous Hope Diamond. Harry Winston donated the Hope Diamond, known for its uniquely rare color, to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. Its history dates back to King Louis XIV of France. The blue diamond was stolen from Louis and Marie Antoinette's collection during the French Revolution, and was discovered in London 20 years later. The gem passed hands many times, ending up in New York City, where a myth began about there being a curse on the Hope Diamond.

According to legend, a curse follows the owner of the Hope Diamond, a curse that first attended the gem when it was originally stolen from an idol in India. It is said that the curse will bring bad luck and misfortune to anyone who owns it or even touches it. From the French Revolution to several of its jewelry store owners seeing their businesses fail soon after obtaining the jewel, it is not hard to see why the curse can seem real.

What do you think?

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