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703-Carat Tanzanite Carving Achieves Guinness World Record

Hillsboro, Ore. — A remarkable milestone in the world of gemology was reached as a stunning 703-carat blue tanzanite carving, crafted by renowned artist Naomi Sarna, secured its place in the Guinness World Records as the largest cut tanzanite ever documented.

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The monumental achievement was officially recognized during a weigh-in ceremony held on March 9 at the esteemed Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon. Expert gemstone appraisers, Jessie English of J.S. English Appraisals and Madeline Saunders of Oregon Estate Jewelry, served as the official witnesses for the event, while Guinness World Records adjudicator Michael Empric authenticated and announced the results. The ceremony was graced by the presence of Rice Museum Board President Gail Spann and Museum Director Kim Vagner.

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Spann, reflecting on the occasion, expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to host Naomi Sarna’s remarkable journey towards this historic achievement. She lauded Sarna’s talent and the privilege of showcasing it within the museum’s halls, emphasizing the significance of such extraordinary talent within the local community.

The genesis of this remarkable creation traces back several years when Sarna embarked on a journey to the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the exclusive source of tanzanite worldwide. Tasked with crafting a masterpiece for an international competition benefiting the Maasai people, Sarna meticulously selected the rough gemstone material that would eventually be transformed into the awe-inspiring “L’Heure Bleu.”

Winner of the prestigious first place in the carving category at the American Gem Trade Association’s annual Spectrum Awards in 2013, the L’Heure Bleu rests upon a sterling silver base, inspired by the winds of Tanzania’s Great Rift Valley.

Beyond her artistic endeavors, Sarna is deeply engaged in humanitarian efforts in Tanzania, particularly in empowering Maasai women through jewelry-making skills utilizing tanzanite. Witnessing firsthand the challenges faced by the local community, Sarna pledges to donate the proceeds from the eventual sale of L’Heure Bleu to the Portland-based Casey Eye Institute, aimed at providing essential eye care services to the Maasai population.

Expressing her gratitude for the recognition bestowed upon her creation by Guinness World Records, Sarna reaffirmed her commitment to supporting the vision health of the Maasai community in Tanzania, underscoring the profound impact this achievement holds for their future.

Dr. Andreas Lauer, Chair of the Casey Eye Institute, echoed Sarna’s sentiments, acknowledging her invaluable contribution towards enhancing the lives of countless individuals through improved vision care, a testament to her enduring legacy of compassion and generosity.

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