The New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square is just around the corner. In preparation for this, yesterday, workers installed new, sparkling, Waterford crystals into the New Year’s Eve Ball, as reported by several news sources. These crystals replaced 288 of the 2,688 crystals already on the ball.

The 2016 New Year’s Eve Ball. Image via Getty Images

Workers installing crystals on the 2016 ball. Image via Getty Images

While New Yorkers are used to seeing the ball drop every year, most probably don’t know about why the ball looks the way it does each time. The recently added crystals created this year’s “Gift of Wonder” design. Every year from 2013 to 2023, the New Year’s Eve ball design follows a specific theme representing hopes that are cherished worldwide (last year’s theme was the “Gift of Fortitude”). Collectively, they form the “Greatest Gifts” series.

Waterford Crystal Master Artisan Tom Brennan poses with a 2016 Waterford crystal in Times Square. Image via Getty Images

In an article, Waterford Group Vice President of the Americas, Michael Craig, said, “The Gift of Wonder symbolizes our everlasting fascination with the unknown and unexplored that takes us to new vistas.”

The “Gift of Wonder” design itself features a skyline-esque starburst whose sparkling brilliance conveys excitement and optimism for the New Year. Last year’s crystals each had diamond cuts on either side of a cryrstal pillar to convey the “Gift of Fortitude.” The year before that (the first in the Greatest Gift series), had the Gift of Imagination design. The crystals are each about 4.75-5.75 inches in length and 6.8 ounces in weight, and are built to withstand high winds, precipitation and temperature changes.

So if you see the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, be on the lookout for the Gift of Wonder in its crystals.

Next, read about The Top 10 Secrets of Times Square NYC and Vintage Photos: The Evolution of Times Square from 1898 to Today.

Get in touch with the author @sgeier97

 New Year’s Eve, One Times Square, times square

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