GIA Museum Celebrates Excellence in Jewelry with Latest Exhibit


September 28, 2006

GIA Museum Celebrates Excellence in Jewelry with Latest Exhibit

Carlsbad, Calif. ­ Sept. 26, 2006 - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Museum is showcasing a collection of some of the world's finest gems and jewelry at the Institute's Carlsbad headquarters in an exhibit titled "Celebrating Excellence in Gems and Jewelry."

According to GIA Museum Director Elise Misiorowski, each jewelry piece in the collection is exceptional, whether through historical significance, unique origin, outstanding design or other feature. The loose gems and crystals come from special geographic localities or exhibit a superb crystal shape, rich color, or incomparable size.

"Celebrating Excellence" consists primarily of pieces on loan from museums, private collections, and design houses from around the world. From now through Nov. 2006, the exhibit will include the Hooker Emerald Brooch and the Bismarck Sapphire Necklace on loan from the Smithsonian Institution, a 1908 "Kokoshnik" tiara courtesy of Cartier International, and a fancy-colored diamond floral brooch by Bulgari circa 1960 that is on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada.

Also on display are highlights from GIA's newly acquired Gübelin Collection of gems.

The exhibit opened as part of GIA's Diamond Anniversary Gala, which kicked off the 4th International Gemological Symposium, on Aug. 27, 2006. On that evening only, a 108-ct. D-color Flawless diamond and a Formula One MP4-21 steering wheel with a diamond-studded Mercedes-Benz logo were on display courtesy of Steinmetz.

Since its debut, "Celebrating Excellence" has gained new pieces, including the Balboa Park Carousel Egg. This intricate objet d'art, on loan courtesy of Jim Grahl, J. Grahl Designs, and Dr. Barry Marfleet, depicts the 56 hand-carved animal characters that move to the music of one of downtown San Diego's best-known attractions, the Balboa Park Carousel.

Other GIA Museum exhibits on display include select pieces from the Graff Famous Diamond Replicas and the "Eye for Excellence" photo exhibition. The Graff collection features cubic zirconia replicas of some of the world's rarest diamonds that luxury jeweler Laurence Graff has handled in his extensive career. "Eye for Excellence" offers examples of excellence in gem photography through the acclaimed works of Harold and Erica Van Pelt, Tino Hammid, and GIA's own Robert Weldon.

"We are delighted to share these extraordinary pieces from some of the finest collections in the world," said Misiorowski. "We are grateful for the generosity of our donors and lenders, who make these exhibits possible."

Exhibits at the Institute are free and available to the public through scheduled tours. To sign up for a tour, contact at guestservicesmailbox@gia.edu or call 800-421-7250, ext. 4116. Outside the U.S., call 760-603-4116.



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