Dr. Jeffrey Post, curator for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Gem and Mineral Collection, was AGTA’s guest of honor during The JCK Show in Las Vegas, where he announced a combined effort to create a new Smithsonian gem exhibit featuring gemstones of the world. The collection is slated to tour the nation in 2004.
The design and creation of an exhibit such as the one Post envisions will take years to conceive and build and will require financial support, says Post. To that end, AGTA and the Smithsonian are asking jewelers around the country to get involved with this display and promotion of colored gemstones.
During his visit to Las Vegas, Post presented highlights on the history of the gemstones and jewelry on display in Washington, D.C., including the history of the Hope diamond, the largest dark blue diamond in the world. The Smithsonian collection of important gems and minerals includes another large blue diamond, making the Smithsonian the only place in the world where visitors can see two very rare blue diamonds. But probably the most astonishing thing about the Smithsonian’s collection, says Post, is the fact that every single piece has been donated.
For more information about the future Gemstones of the World exhibit and tour, contact Charles Katzenmeyer, associate director for public affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, (202) 786-2387, or James Marker, communications manager at AGTA in Dallas, Texas, (214) 742-4367.