Estate-jewelry collector Stephen H. Silver, G.G., and his wife, Eileen, have contributed $100,000 to the Gemological Institute of America to support the Institute’s museum and education programs.
The majority of the gift—$75,000—will go to the Museum Endowment Fund, marking its first significant financial contribution. Once the fund reaches its goal, GIA’s board of governors will designate a portion of the interest earned to acquire rare jewelry and mineral specimens for display.
The Silvers’ donation comes on the heels of the company’s recent loan of the Cullinan Blue Diamond necklace to GIA for display. The piece contains four principal rare blue diamonds, which weigh 2.60, 0.75, 0.73, and 0.42 cts. It’s the same necklace that Thomas Cullinan, then-chairman of the Premier Diamond Mine, presented to his wife in 1905 to commemorate the gift of the 3,106-ct. Cullinan diamond to England’s King Edward VII and his subsequent knighthood.
Silver acquired the necklace directly from Cullinan’s great-granddaughter.
Silver also donated a rare platinum, diamond, and Russian violet-pink topaz Edwardian corsage ornament from the early 1900s to GIA in 1997. At the time, the brooch was valued at $105,000—the most valuable donation of set jewelry GIA had ever received.