Archive for the ‘travels’ Category

I apologize for not updating as regularly lately as I had said that I would.  I went to the Charleston, SC show this past weekend, and was unfortunately highly disappointed with the turnout of dealers and the lack of high end gem material, although I picked up several extremely nice mineral specimens for my personal collection.

On the upside, I will be attending the MASSIVE show in Franklin, NC this Thursday.  It is a wholesale only show, and requires proof of a resale tax license in the gem/jewelry trade for entrance into the show event.  In addition you have to get a wholesale dealer badge at the registration booth.  This has been beautifully arranged 🙂 …thank you… you know who you are!  This will be my first Franklin show, and I have heard great things about the event, which has a reputation of 3rd only to the international Tucson show event.

After the Franklin show I will be updating more frequently, and will finish my mini-series on ethics and appraising.

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Yesterday, I visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science with my friend Daniel. Now, a permanent exhibit at the museum, is the Lester and Sue Smith gem vault. Located within the vault are a number of world class jewelry pieces and unset gem specimens. The most impressive being the largest cut aquamarine in the world, the “Dom Pedro” – from of course none other than the finest aquamarine mine in the world – the Santa Maria mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The stone is of the finest Santa Maria blue, and stands just over 14″ tall and is an obelisk styled gem. The original crystal weighed 26 Kg and was cut in Idar-Oberstein in 1992 by the gemstone designer Bernd Munsteiner. Seeing this one gem in person, made my entire trip to Houston worthwhile, for such a piece is truly priceless in all senses of the word. Also included in the Smith gem vault are other various beryls, such as aquamarines, heliodors, and emeralds each weighing hundreds of carats. A world class oval rubellite weighing the the several hundred carat range is also on display, as are massive tsavorite garnets and paraiba tourmalines of stellar color and clarity. Several exquisite necklaces, tiaras, and rings designed by Ernesto Moreira are also displayed. In the main hall of minerals, the museum showcases world class specimens of rough crystals of all families – from beryls to native elements, from corundums to topazes. At several points in touring the collections, I was emotionally moved beyond belief at what I was standing before – separated only by a few inches of space and glass. I highly recommend this museum’s exhibits to everyone who has an appreciation for the finest examples of nature’s artwork.

Courtesy of www.khulsey.com

“Dom Pedro” Aquamarine

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