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Categories: Sightseeing / Travel

Rare jewels

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

As a belated commemoration of Mother’s Day, this post is dedicated to all the moms who have the hardest job in the world–raising your kiddos to be decent, moral human beings. You are indeed the “jewels” of the world.

Just days before my 2nd trip (with my ex-before-last) to Washington D.C. a few years ago, I had spotted an article on cbsnews.com about a 23.1-carat ruby named “Carmen Lucia” making its debut at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History that week. Needless to say, it was added to the itinerary.

Upon our entrance inside the gallery, everyone seemed to be clamoring around a tall display, at what I initially thought was the “Carmen Lucia”. With camera flashes blinding our every turn, we waited ever so patiently for the crowd to dwindle down to finally sneak a glance. Housed within a 3-inch thick bulletproof glass was this:

Hope Diamond


“Hope Diamond”
45.52 carats….and get this, it’s more than a billion years old!

Hope Diamond

The  chain on the “Hope Diamond” necklace

Little did we know how completely awestruck we were going to be. As we meandered past throngs of people, we stopped in our tracks after spotting this gynormous “rock”:

American Golden Topaz

“American Golden Topaz”
Discovered in Brazil, weighing just over 10 lbs, it has 172 facets
Want more dirt? It is 22,892.50 carats and one of the world’s largest gems

Corundum and bracelet

Corundum (variation of ruby)…. and Ruby and Diamond Bracelet

Logan Sapphire

“Logan Sapphire”
423 carats from Sri Lanka
Written on the sign–“Among the world’s largest-known faceted blue sapphires, this extraordinary stone is the heaviest mounted gem in the National Gem Collection. It is framed by 20 diamonds totaling 16 carats.”

To view photo in Flickr, go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/yummies4tummies/3529135447/

Jade

Jade
“Jade is actually a general term applied to two distinct minerals, jadeite and nephrite. Jade comes in a range of colors–white, green, lavender, brown and black.”

Chalk Emerald

Chalk Emerald
37.8 carats; discovered in Columbia

Flawless crystal ball

Trivia lovers? What’s 12.9 inches in diamter and is flawless? Give up? This crystal ball!
Weighs 106.75 lbs

Flawless crystal ball

Another angle of this 242,323-carat crystal ball
“This quart sphere was cut and polished in China in 1923-24.”

The next 3 photos are a bit out of focus, and I teeter-tottered on posting because I, for one, find blurry photos a little annoying to look at (hmmm, is that my vision going or is it the photo?)….but figured you should have some idea of all the beauties we marveled at.

Crown and necklace

Crown and diamond necklace

Sapphire & diamond necklaces

Sapphire and diamond necklaces

Mackay emerald

“Mackay Emerald and Diamond Necklace”
168 carats; found in Muzo, Columbia

As far as the “Carmen Lucia”, unfortunately, we missed capturing its beauty on film. 🙁

We stumbled on this beast right as we were leaving. Good thing it didn’t have a pulse, otherwise there would have been quite a commotion. LOL.

Ground floor of museum

The only time you could use the idiom “elephant in the room”….and it would be literally true! LOL

To add to the surrealness, the gallery didn’t charge admission! Yep, it’s our tax dollars at work!   And I just checked the museum’s website, the gem exhibit is still there! Moms:  Plan to see these lovelies up close and personal.

Check out my video clips on YouTube!
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Must-see Washington D.C. sights:
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