The Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris is hosting a diamond exhibit that continues through July. The museum’s Gallery of Mineralogy is the site of the exhibit, which covers 1,200 square meters and includes the largest public vault in Paris.
The first section of the exhibit is devoted to the physical and chemical mysteries of diamonds. Visitors can admire thousands of raw diamonds preserved for their natural beauty and gain insight into their formation. Some of the specimens weigh more than 600 cts. The museum’s Orgueil meteorite, which is riddled with diamonds that are older than the solar system, is also on display.
A portrait gallery displays paintings from Versailles, Florence, Copenhagen, and Washington, D.C., which illustrate the importance of diamonds as symbols of power. These official paintings and private portraits also sketch the history of jewelry over the centuries.
The “diamond crypt” is a vault with armored cases displaying jewels from Tiffany and Cartier as well as the Portuguese crown jewels, among other items.
The exhibition was organized with the financial partnership of the Groupe Mouawad and the De Beers group. Robert Mouawad contributed a number of famous diamonds to the exhibit, including the Idol Eye and the Liz Taylor diamond. De Beers is displaying a special collection of raw diamonds and historical documents.