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The security surrounding the Hope diamond’s appearance at the Harry Winston store last night rivaled that of a sitting President. There was to be no mention that the stone would be at the party, everyone was advised to bring photo ID and doors were locked at 7:30—no exceptions for latecomers. And the word “hope” was used so often, it may as well have been an actual Obama rally.
This story first appeared in the November 18, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This was only the fifth time that one of the world’s most famous gems had left its permanent residence at the Smithsonian Museum in over 50 years. And based on some of the guests’ intrigue towards the the billion-dollars worth of jewelry on display, heavy surveillance was probably a good idea. “I don’t want Gucci getting any bright ideas,” said David Neville of his wife.
Guests including Leighton Meester, Hilary Rhoda, singer Maxwell, Nora Zehetner and Elie Wiesel clapped when guards unfolded the mirrored box and revealed the Hope in its new setting. Then Winston president and ceo Frédéric de Narp discussed the new Harry Winston Hope Foundation which will aid educational charities around the world.
But co-host Halle Berry stepped out before all of this. “I have heard it’s jinxed,” she said of the famed stone before her departure. “I hope now having a foundation in its honor will reverse that because it will be doing so much good.”
Afterwards, guests headed over to the Monkey Bar for dinner, where birthday girl Glenda Bailey blew out candles on a special dessert.