One of the most extraordinary gem collections in the world is at the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian has recently unveiled their new jewelry line inspired by their gem collections produced in an exclusive partnership with QVC, the TV shopping channel. The lovely gemstone pieces are mounted in sterling silver and gold and range from $65- $950.
The purpose behind this endeavor? According to Carol LeBlanc, the director of the Smithsonian Enterprises business unit, "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''. Imagine, history on the shopping channel! And not the sort taught in schools either!
Two special programs will appear on the shopping channel. The inaugural one, Smithsonian Institution: National Gem Gallery will air this Tuesday, September 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. (EDT). The footage will include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian as well as rarely seen gems from the Smithsonian vault.
The program planned for December will showcase some of their most famous pieces - Marie Antoinette’s earrings, the Napoleon necklace (given to Napoleon's second wife after he ditched Josephine, see story below) and naturally, the Hope Diamond, their star attraction. The Hope Diamond has had many owners including Louis XV of France and Harry Winston, the flamboyant jeweler who donated the Hope to the Smithsonian and sent it via USP!
More bejeweled biographies:
- Harry Winston and the Hope Diamond's 50th anniversary at the Smithsonian
- Josephine de Beauharnais' Obsession with Jewelry
- Madame de Pompadour's Jewels ( mistress of Louis XV of France who achieved her "career" goal but at a great cost)
- The Last Queen of France's Pearls (Marie Antoinette)
For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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The Beading Gem's Journal