The world’s largest crystal octahedron will soon be placed atop the entrance tower of the Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif., say GIA officials.
The one-ton octahedron, which will be installed later this year to create the GIA Tower of Brilliance, resembles the shape of a natural diamond crystal and alludes to GIA’s worldwide reputation as the world’s foremost authority in gemology and creator of the international diamond grading system. The octahedron was custom designed for GIA by D. Swarovski & Co., the world-famous Austrian crystal manufacturer, which donated it to the Institute along with a significant monetary gift to GIA’s endowment campaign.
“With this donation, Swarovski has dramatically demonstrated its confidence in GIA’s ability to continue to serve the gem and jewelry industry and the public long into the future,” says GIA President William E. Boyajian. “The display of this fabulous octahedron will not only enhance GIA’s world headquarters with its artistic beauty, but it will also serve as a lasting reminder of Swarovski’s support of GIA’s important mission.”
Helmut Swarovski, Chief Executive Officer of D. Swarovski & Co., adds, “We are proud to make this donation to support GIA’s significant work on behalf of the gem and jewelry industry and to celebrate its collaboration with Swarovski in the last few years.”
The crystal octahedron comprises an outer glass structure, which resembles the shape of a natural diamond crystal, with a metallic replica of a round-brilliant cut diamond within. It will be motorized to rotate and reflect a moderate amount of light, resembling the characteristics of a diamond returning light through its facets.
Swarovski’s innovative lighting division designed the octahedron. Swarovski has also designed other special crystal creations as part of its Symbols of Light collection. The first in this series was The Cross of Light, which is on display in the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri, in the Vatican.
Linda Ellis, GIA’s chief Development officer, said the Swarovski donation is an essential part of the Institute’s $75 million endowment campaign.
“This campaign is the centerpiece of our efforts to create a permanent, perpetual source of income to secure GIA’s ability to fund its work on behalf of the gem and jewelry industry and the consumer public, Ellis said. “Swarovski’s donation helps us take a major step forward in achieving the goals of this vital campaign, and it is greatly appreciated.”