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“100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World” Exhibition Unveiled at Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Los Angeles, CA – The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) is currently hosting a captivating exhibition titled “100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World,” showcasing an array of rare gemstones, each weighing a minimum of 100 carats.

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With over 30 gemstones on display, the exhibition’s spotlight shines on 20 stones exceeding 100 carats, including the renowned Jonker I Diamond, a 125-carat masterpiece and one of the largest cut diamonds globally. Notably, this diamond, originating from the fourth-largest diamond ever discovered in 1934, has been hidden from public view since its private purchase in 1977.

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In a rare and historic move, the current owner, Ibrahim Al-Rashid, chairman of Miami-based Limestone Asset Management, generously lent the Jonker I Diamond to the museum, marking its first public exhibition in over eight decades. Al-Rashid expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share the diamond’s unparalleled beauty and rich history with the public.

Also making its debut is “The Miracle,” a 100.06-carat sapphire discovered last year, alongside other captivating colored gemstones, including the 241.04-carat “Crown of Colombia,” a Colombian emerald, and the 112.68-carat “The Scarlet Red,” a rubellite.

Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of NHMLAC, emphasized the extraordinary significance and rarity of the gems on display, describing the collection as unparalleled in importance within the gem world. She stated, “Gems of such magnificent size and quality have never been displayed before in this quantity in one exhibition.”

Collaboratively organized by NHMLAC and Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels, the exhibition includes masterpieces like “The Blue Star,” a 108-carat aquamarine, and “The Imperial,” a 111-carat green tourmaline.

The exhibition is housed within NHMLAC’s Hixon Gem Vault, featuring 100-carat loose stones, while mounted jewelry with gems weighing 50 to 100 carats is displayed outside the vault. The museum underlines that while these gems are aesthetically stunning, they also represent geological marvels, formed through mountain-building events, volcanic eruptions, and the Earth’s unforgiving pressures and temperatures.

Dr. Aaron Celestian, NHMLAC’s Curator of Mineral Sciences, expressed the rarity of the gems, highlighting the exhibition as a “once-in-a-lifetime event” where visitors can witness the remarkable brilliance of gems cut to perfection.

NHMLAC’s Gem and Mineral Hall, spanning 6,000 square feet and established in 1978, houses a permanent collection of approximately 175,000 specimens, including exquisite gem collections from Myanmar, South Africa, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and other global destinations.

“100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World” opened on December 8, 2023, and will run until April 21, offering an immersive experience into Earth’s geological processes and a profound journey through the history of art and culture. Exhibition programming and hours may vary, with entrance included in the admission to NHMLAC or free for members.

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Alice
Alice
Alice is a seasoned jewelry designer renowned for her exquisite creations that seamlessly blend artistry with elegance. With a passion for craftsmanship and an unwavering commitment to quality, Alice has established herself as a distinguished figure in the world of fine jewelry. Drawing inspiration from diverse cultures and artistic movements, Alice brings a unique perspective to her designs, creating pieces that transcend mere accessories to become timeless works of art. Her meticulous attention to detail and insistence on using only the finest materials ensure that each creation reflects not only her artistic vision but also a commitment to unparalleled craftsmanship. Having honed her skills through years of dedicated practice and a keen understanding of evolving trends, Alice is adept at translating her clients' desires into bespoke, one-of-a-kind pieces. Her portfolio encompasses a range of styles, from classic and timeless to avant-garde and contemporary, showcasing her versatility and ability to cater to a diverse clientele.

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