Hope Diamond Wrapper

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The mailing wrapper, marked "please deliver 11:45 AM 11/10/58," contained the rare gem, the "Hope Diamond," when it was sent as a gift by Harry Winston to the Smithsonian Institution located in Washington, D.C. in 1958. Winston, a well-known jeweler, routinely used the mails to deliver valuable material.
Mailed on the morning of November 8 from New York City, the item was sent by registered (first class) mail -- considered the safest means of transport for valuables at that time. The total fee was $145.29 (see the meter machine tapes). Postage only amounted to $2.44 for the package which weighed 61 ounces. The remainder of the fee ($142.85) paid for an indemnity of about $1 million.
The package was delivered on Monday, November 11, by letter carrier James G. Todd, who had picked it up at the Old City Post Office (the building is now home to the National Postal Museum).
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National Postal Museum Collection
On View
Currently on exhibit at the National Postal Museum
November 8, 1958
Object number
The Cold War (1945-1990)
United States of America
paper; ink
Height x Width: 11 1/8 x 14 1/4 in. (28.26 x 36.2 cm)
National Postal Museum
Covers & Associated Letters