The Smithsonian is bringing its storied gem collection to a jewelry box near you. That means you too can wear the Hope Diamond. Sort of.
The Smithsonian Institution recently announced that it has licensed its renowned gem and jewelry collection to create a line of bracelets, brooches and other baubles with the TV shopping network QVC. The jewelry line expected to launch this fall will be based on the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the National Museum of Natural History, which includes the famous Hope Diamond, The Wittelsbach Blue Diamond and Marie Antoinette earrings among 375,000 specimens. Curators will help oversee creation of the jewelry line. “With all of our licensed products, everything is reviewed and approved by curators in advance,” said Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas in a press release. Curators also will record interviews for QVC to help introduce the collections and offer a glimpse behind the scenes at the museum in Washington, she said. “We will create jewelry that is not only fashionable, but also serves to educate the public about the Smithsonian and the jewelry, gems and minerals found in its collections,” said Carol LeBlanc, director of consumer products for the Smithsonian Enterprises business unit. The QVC line will include primarily costume jewelry and semiprecious stones. Some of the earrings, rings, bracelets, pins and brooches will be based on designs of pieces in the museum, while others will simply be inspired by its collection, including the 45.5-carat, walnut-size Hope Diamond, long rumored to carry a curse. The line won’t include real diamonds.