‘Bahia’ To Be Museum Cornerstone

It’s a 602-lb. gemstone pendant that only a museum could wear. And the Gemological Institute of America’s president Bill Boyajian is personally spearheading the campaign to acquire the magnificent gem sculpture and have it installed at the entrance to GIA’s permanent museum.

Bahia, a 426-lb. finished rock crystal quartz included with golden fibers of rutile, is mounted in a gold-colored metal frame complete with internal halogen lighting. Found in Bahia, Brazil, and created by gem artists Glenn Lehrer and Lawrence Stoller, Bahia has been displayed at GIA once before as well as at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.

It hangs in the small alcove of GIA’s Tower of Brilliance, located just inside the main entrance to the institute’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. The late Dr. Vince Manson, GIA’s former director of strategic planning and “director of dreams,” used to marvel at the way Bahia reacted with the light of the rising sun on the spring and fall equinoxes. On those two days, the morning rays of sunlight pour into the alcove windows and strike Bahia with spectacular results. The gem sculpture transforms the light into emanating beams of spectral colors, streaming along the entire length of a major corridor toward the Pacific Ocean.

Boyajian writes that Bahia’s “significance to the Institute will only increase as it serves as a cornerstone to our growing permanent museum collection and is displayed in all its glory at the entrance to our future exhibition site.”

For information on contributing to GIA’s acquisition of Bahia, contact Bev Ross at (760) 603-4120, e-mail: bev.ross@gia.edu.