Richard Kurin on "Financing the Hope Diamond"

2011 Henry Kaufman Lecture/Symposia Series

Richard Kurin on \

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

The Hope Diamond is often thought to be the most valuable gem on earth, given the rarity of this 45 carat blue diamond, as well as its fame and imputed curse.

This presentation by Richard Kurin, Under Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution for History, Art and Culture, follows the history of the gem with emphasis on how it was bought and sold over the past four centuries, questions of its value, how it was financed, its effect upon owners' fortunes and reputations and its eventual donation to the Smithsonian Institution by Harry Winston. Of particular note will be the New York City connections to the diamond and the role the Bankers' Panic of 1907 played in creating for the Hope Diamond one of the greatest urban legends of all time.

Presentation will be followed by Q&A and reception. Dr. Kurin's Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem will be available for sale after the talk, and can be autographed by the author.

Reservations required. Admission is free for students and Museum members, or $15 for non-members. For additional information, please call 212-908-4110 or e-mail The Museum welcomes members of its Young Professionals Circle to this event.