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QVC to begin selling Smithsonian jewelry knockoffs Sept. 14

The Smithsonian will finally unveil its Let Them Wear Paste jewelry collection on QVC next week.

It's been five months since the Smithsonian Institution announced it had signed a deal to sell Hope Diamond knockoffs and faux Marie Antoinette earrings on the home shopping channel.
Initial offerings, which will be unveiled during a Tuesday, Sept.14, 7-9 p.m. telecast, will include a ring made with Smithsonite, a mineral named after the Institution's founder James Smithson.

Those who do not buy into the idea that Smithsonite is a girl's best friend might instead consider a sterling silver, turquoise and white topaz ring, reminiscent of the one Napoleon gave to Empress Marie-Louie -- when his funds were tight, no doubt.

Gemologist Christine Webb, a 13 year veteran of the gems and minerals department at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, will also present for your consideration a "limited-edition heart-shaped sterling blue topaz ring" designed by Judith Ripka, the Smithsonian and QVC said Friday. That ring: a "tribute" to the 100th anniversary of the cutting of the Blue Heart diamond.

QVC's next Smithsonian special will be telecast in early December -- just in time for the holiday season. At that special, you will be afforded the opportunity to bid on bijou reminiscent of the more iconic pieces in the Smithsonian's extensive gem collection -- Marie Antoinette's earrings, the Napoleon necklace, and the Hope diamond.

That two-hour show will be telecast live from the Smithsonian Castle in Washington.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  September 10, 2010; 6:32 PM ET
Categories:  Local TV  
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