Diamonds Unearthed

In the first installment of a multi-part series, Smithsonian diamond expert Jeffrey Post explains how the rare crystals form

Jeweler Harry Winston donated the famous Hope Diamond—the largest-known deep blue diamond in the world—to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. It arrived in a plain brown package by registered mail, insured for one million dollars. Surrounded by 16 white pear-shaped and cushion-cut diamonds and hanging from a chain with 45 diamonds, the rare gem attracts 6 million visitors a year to the Natural History Museum. (Chip Clark)
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In part two, learn about colored diamonds, how scientists are growing synthetic versions in the lab, and global efforts to curb the sale of conflict diamonds. In the final installment of this three-part series, discover the fascinating stories behind the Smithsonian's collection.


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