The Hope Diamond, the crown jewel of the National Museum of Natural History’s internationally recognized gems collection, is soon to be viewed in a new setting. But which setting will be chosen? In an unusual move, museum officials say the selection will be decided by the public, in a first-ever, popular vote. Between now and September 7, the public is being asked to choose among three designs at an online polling place, hosted by the Smithsonian Channel, whose compelling new documentary "Mystery of the Hope Diamond" is in production and due out next spring.
Ever since its arrival at the Smithsonian in 1958, visitors have flocked to see the fabled 45.52-carat brilliant blue beauty. This new chapter in the history of the famous diamond comes on the heels of the 50th anniversary of Harry Winston’s donation. "As we were thinking about the anniversary, we came up with a theme of giving the public a chance to see the diamond in a way they’ve never seen it before," says Jeffrey Post, curator of gems at the museum. "How often do you have a 50th? We needed to have a celebration."