Smithsonian’s gem collection receives $1.1 Million gift From Tiffany

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History received a $1.1 million gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to establish a collection in its name as part of the museum’s National Gem Collection.

The gift will establish an endowment for the acquisition of important gemstones for the collection, which will be known as “The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Collection,” and provide an exhibition case to display these and other gemstones in the National Gem Collection Gallery.  

“This is a landmark event in the history of the National Museum of Natural History,” said Cristián Samper, director of the National Museum of Natural History. “This endowment will enhance the collection for generations to come. It is a remarkable gift to the nation.”

The gems and minerals halls of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History are among the most visited museum galleries in the world, attracting more than five million visitors every year. The National Gem Collection, created in 1884, is renowned for its breadth of world class precious gemstones, including the renowned Hope Diamond, the most popular museum object in the world.  

“We are very proud to establish this endowment at the U.S. National Gem Collection, which will support the Smithsonian in acquiring the precious and rare gemstones for which it is renowned,” said Fernanda Kellogg, president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation.

“The Tiffany & Co. Foundation endowment will enable us to acquire gemstones that may come along only once in a lifetime—pieces that would have previously eluded us,” said Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem Collection. “The gift will help us maintain the National Gem Collection’s position as one of the world’s great repositories of rare gemstones.”

The Tiffany & Co. Foundation is the grant-making entity of the internationally known jeweler Tiffany & Co., which was founded in 1837. The company and the foundation have been active supporters of the Smithsonian and the National Museum of Natural History and its National Gem Collection since 1983.

The National Gem Collection is part of the Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.