The Post emerald necklace at The Smithsonian museum in Washington

The Sparkling Treasures of the Smithsonian

Gems and Stones at the Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.

A recent visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., has inspired me and revealed a dazzling world of gems and stones; showcasing the beauty of our natural world and the creativity of artisans throughout history.
Each gem and stone in the Smithsonian's collection tells a fascinating story of discovery, from the hands of miners to skilled artisans, to the powerful owners of the final jewellery.
These pieces reflect human curiosity and the quest to transform nature's raw materials into stunning works of art.



My highlights of the Gems and stones Collection at the Smithsonian:

These are some of my favorites from the collection and pieces that remind me of the uniquess of natural materials and the importance of handycrafts in human expression:
The Post emerald necklace: Made by Cartier in 1928-1929, the necklace features 24 baroque emerald drops from Colombia (my native land) and was designed in the Art Deco Indian-style popular in the 1920s and ‘30s. In this style of jewelry, emeralds were often polished instead of faceted and drilled through to be used as beads.
The Burmese Ruby Bracelet: Celebrated for its vivid red color and one of my favorites in the collection. Did you know that the word "ruby" comes from "ruber," Latin for red.
Hall Sapphire Necklace: Designed by Harry Winston, Inc., features 36 cushion-cut sapphires from Sri Lanka, totaling 195 carats, set in platinum.


The Marie Louise diadem: Made with persian turquoise, this diadem was once owned by Napoleon’s second wife, the Empress Marie Louise.


Each piece is unique in its beauty and longevity, but all are witness to the extends to which civilizations will go to obtain them and treasure them. They convey the history of humankind and our relation to the natural world.

Whether you are a gem enthusiast, a sustainable jewellery maker or simply curious, the exhibits will leave you in awe of the natural world's wonders and admiration of the work of artisans though the ages.

Which one is your favorite? Add your comment.

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