Gem Artists Take Center Stage

November 1998

Gemstones & Pearls:News

Gem Artists Take Center Stage

Some spectacular gems belong in a museum, even if just for a few days, so they can be treasured by the public

The Gem Artists of North America and others involved in gemstones and jewelry recently got their days in the spotlight at the venerable Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, PA. Gems and minerals from dealers, carvers and Pittsburgh jewelers were exhibited to the public – and were available for sale.

It was the first time a major museum has mounted such a show for the gemstone and jewelry industry.

Marc Wilson, the museum's gem and mineral curator, says the exhibit helped build new relationships among members of the mineral and lapidary communities.

This event marked the first time GANA members exhibited as a group. "The event was crucial because of the high concentration of extremely potent, exceptional work," says Lawrence Stoller, GANA spokesperson and gem carver. "This kind of a setting validates our work. An analogy is that photography was once not considered an art. But now important photography collections are in all museums. We are at the beginning of something; gem art is an emerging interest."

Among the main exhibits was "Bahia" the world's largest cut gem, a 602-lb. sculpture by Stoller and Glenn Lehrer, available for sale for a cool $2 million.

Though "Bahia" and most other major works did not sell, GANA members said consumers and retailers who attended as buyers left with a better understanding and a new-found appreciation for gemstones and minerals.

Carved gemstone perfume bottles are by Gil Roberts. His collection features citrine, smoky quartz, amethyst, opal, sugilite and chrysoprase.

Among the gem carvings in the exhibit was this Russian aquamarine and Mintabie black opal pendant set in 24k gold. Titled "Uncompromising Love," it's by Kreg Skulley.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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