In digging around to find out what the metal was in the "classic"
Smithsonian mounting for the Hope diamond, I rekindled a puzzlement.
In one of the articles I read, they talked about popping it in and
out of the setting every night for a week, to do chemical
measurements on it. Apparently, they had a jeweler come in every
evening, and pop it out, and then pop it back in every morning.
Clearly, they can’t possibly be moving prongs around like that. So
how are big, ‘named’ stones like that held in place, typically?
I’ve always wondered, because you hear about big stones being
swapped around between different mounts, and popped out ‘for
cleaning’. If you had to worry about fussing with prongs, there’s no
way you’d be so casual about it.
I’ve seen the Hope, in the Cartier mount, but I was paying much more
attention to the rock than I was to the mounting. Now I wish I’d
looked a bit closer. (Didn’t (and don’t) like the mount, so that
wasn’t the interest.) But I don’t remember any big clamping cage,
or, in fact, much of any visible mount at all, let alone the amount
of widgetry you’d need to make a mechanically clamping sort of mount.
Thus my curiosity.