GIA to Exhibit the Aurora Diamond Butterfly

The Gemological Institute of America will exhibit the famous “Aurora Butterfly of Peace” starting with a special Opening Night celebration and lecture on May 14. This piece, formerly on display at the Smithsonian Institute, is a collection of 240 natural, fancy colored diamonds in various sizes, shapes, and cuts that weighs 167 carats. 

The Aurora Butterfly of Peace will be unveiled for the launch of the “Facets of GIA” exhibit, which will showcase the history of the Institute, and highlight the education, laboratory, public outreach, and other services the Institute provides to the public and jewelry trade. 

In addition to the Aurora Butterfly of Peace, the exhibit will be enhanced by other examples of magnificent gems and jewelry, such as rare gem crystals still in their natural states, cut and polished gems, and finished jewelry. Visitors to GIA will be able to see more than 30 pieces, including a Cartier diamond necklace from 1930, an emerald and diamond necklace and earrings from Tiffany and Co., circa 1950; a D-color, 18-ct., emerald cut diamond ring, and a 10-ct. Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline in platinum and diamond ring.

“Viewing the Aurora Butterfly of Peace will be extraordinary, not only because the collection itself is so splendid, but also because the lighting will change from natural light to ultraviolet light at regular intervals to demonstrate how the diamonds appear under different lighting conditions,” said Elise Misiorowski, GIA Museum director. “Many of the diamonds fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light.”

On Opening Night, John King, GIA’s technical director for the GIA New York Laboratory, and one of the world’s top experts on colored diamonds, will give a presentation on the phenomenon of natural, fancy colored diamonds and the public’s continued, and growing, fascination with these gemstones.

Alan Bronstein, owner and curator of the Aurora Butterfly of Peace is considered one of the world’s most experienced and trusted advisors on natural, fancy color diamonds. For more than 25 years, Bronstein has consulted and sold diamonds and fancy colored diamonds to leading jewelers and private collectors. He will also be on hand opening night in Carlsbad to escort and describe the Aurora Butterfly.

Bronstein compares the 12-year journey to this piece’s completion to the metamorphosis of a chrysalis to a butterfly.

“This unique work of art gives a new twist on the tradition of diamonds which has been linked to love, passion and marriage in the past,” he said. “I wanted to bring in an element of humanity and a “non-materialistic” appreciation of nature’s beauty.”

Bronstein says that the form of the Butterfly represents universal peace and harmony among all men, religions, and races.

The Aurora Butterfly of Peace exhibit will be on view to the public from May 15 thru July 30. The “Facets of GIA” will open on May 15 and remain on view thru April 30, 2010, with related displays and exhibits rotating through the Museum. 

GIA Museum exhibit viewings are free and available to the public through scheduled tours. Visitors must sign up for a tour by contacting or calling (800) 421-7250, ext. 4116. Outside of the U.S., interested visitors can call (760) 603-4116 or visit the GIA Website at for more information.

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