Smithsonian closed, Hope Diamond awaits synthetic twin


Years ago, some diamonds were bought by socialites and movie stars who liked to show them to their friends and the press. American heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean, the Hope’s last private owner, often wore it in public – or occasionally put it around her dog’s neck or wore it when she was gardening. Richard Burton made headlines in 1969 when he purchased a 68-carat diamond for Elizabeth Taylor, naming it the Taylor-Burton Diamond. Right after the actor bought it, Cartier the seller put it on display in New York City where 6,000 people a day were lining up to open.

But in recent years, “movie stars usually don’t buy them, they borrow them,” said Henry Barguirdjian, former CEO of Graff USA and managing partner of Arcot, a gemstone investment firm, in a statement. interview shortly before his death in October. . And he added, “In America there are people who like to buy gems, but they are usually business people and totally anonymous. In Asia, they buy like Americans used to buy: for status symbols. “

In 2015, Joseph Lau, a Hong Kong businessman, set a record $ 48.4 million by purchasing a 12.03 carat diamond at Sotheby’s called “Blue Moon of Josephine” for his 7 year old daughter right after purchasing a 16.08 carat pink diamond, “Sweet Josephine”, for $ 28.5 million from Christie’s.

Hope, often cited as a metaphor for ne plus ultra, is unusual in that it has been playing for over 60 years. (Certainly, the French and British crown jewels, on display to the public, include extraordinary diamonds: among them, those cut from the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found in South Africa in 1905, and the Koh-i-Noor of 105 , 6 carats, found in India.)


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