Judith Osmer, CEO and founder of J.O. Crystal Co., Long Beach Calif., and creator of the Ramaura synthetic ruby, has donated a selection of unique Ramaura crystals to the Gem and Mineral Collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Osmer stated that “the crystal specimens represent the finest and most unusual examples of ruby growth to have come out of my laboratory in the 18 years of my company’s existence.”
The redesign of the Smithsonian’s Gem and Mineral Hall has made room for the addition of synthetic gem materials, and curator Jeffrey Post had expressed interest in Osmer’s crystals during The JCK Show in Las Vegas last June.
Ramaura ruby is created through a “self-nucleating” process. No seed crystals are used to start or trigger new growth, as is done with other flux synthetics. The Ramaura is free to grow in all directions. This unusual growth process generates a number of interesting shapes and patterns that, until now, have been seen in only a few rare natural ruby specimens.
Osmer is happy to see her rubies become the first synthesized gemstones to enter the Gem and Mineral Hall, which is filled with well-known diamonds and other jewels. “Nothing has given me more satisfaction than to have my ruby displayed in the same mineral collection with the Hope diamond,” Osmer says.
Ironically, the donation comes at a time when Osmer is contemplating getting out of the crystal-growing business-J.O. Crystals is up for sale. “It’s time now to lay plans for retirement,” she says. For information, contact Judith Osmer or Virginia Carter at J.O. Crystal Co., (562) 437-0736, fax (562) 437-1645, e-mail: JOC@Ramaura.com.