The 45.52 carat Hope Diamond, permanently displayed in the Smithsonian Museum with its current setting, Embracing Hope. The Hope Diamond is insured at $250 million. (Gary Arbach | Dreamstime.com)
The Hope Diamond, one of the most famous diamonds in the world, is now an object of interest to scientists, who say that the stone contains unusually high levels of boron. An article in the New York Times reports that researchers led by Jeffrey E. Post of the Smithsonian Institution examined 78 blue diamonds, including the famous Hope Diamond, in a special piece of equipment that peeled off atoms, which were then sorted by weight. What did the team find? It has been known for some time that blue diamonds get their color from exposure to boron during the formation process, but this new research indicates that – counter intuitively – a higher level of boron does not necessarily result in a deeper blue colored diamond. The rare blue Hope Diamond, which weighed as much as 112 carats in its rough form and now weighs 45.52 carats, is considered one of the most famous diamonds in the world and is believed to be cursed. After a long and storied history, the Hope Diamond was sold in 1949 to the renowned diamond merchant, Harry Winston. He subsequently presented it to the Smithsonian Museum in 1958, where it is displayed today. In 2010, the museum had the diamond re-set. The former setting by Cartier was replaced by a new one designed by Harry Winston. The project took eight months to create and features 340 baguette cut diamonds set in platinum.