IN DIAMONDS: RARE BRILLIANCE AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY
New York, November 28, 2016 — The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) today announced details for its coming exhibition Diamonds: Rare Brilliance, which will bring together rare colored gems never before seen in the United States inside the museum’s renowned Gem and Mineral Hall. At the center of Rare Brilliance will be the “Juliet Pink Diamond,” which is an extremely rare pink diamond of over 30 carats, and a Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet named the “Argyle Violet” after the eponymous Argyle mine in Western Australia, where it was discovered in 2015. Through stunning examples, such as the fluorescent lighting of a “rainbow” diamond necklace and a very rare Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple diamond, the exhibition will bring to light the rare properties of colored gemstones, the science behind natural colored diamonds, and how the interplay of light and chemistry gives diamonds color. Organized in partnership with L.J. West Diamonds, Rare Brilliance will be on view from December 16, 2016, through March 19, 2017.
“We are thrilled to share these gems, which are incredibly rare in color, intensity, quality and size — and so brilliantly fashioned from the original roughs — with museum visitors, providing opportunities to learn about the geology, physics and chemistry behind each diamond’s sparkle and hue,” said Dr. Aaron Celestian, NHM’s Associate Mineralogy Curator. “These jewels, on loan from L.J. West, capture the imagination and will shine amongst the museum’s world-renowned collection of gems and minerals.”
“Throughout history diamonds have been synonymous with love and romance. The Juliet Pink captures this connection with its vibrant, strong pink color that is both alluring and seductive. After understanding the stone’s importance and color we decided to name the stone the ‘Juliet Pink Diamond,’ as the stone captivates passion and ultimate beauty.” – Scott West, the vice president of L.J. West Diamonds.
The Juliet Pink Diamond, which will be set in a necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut white diamonds totaling 98.70 carats for the exhibition, has been designated a type IIa diamond by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for its remarkable chemical purity and clarity. Natural colored diamonds are a strikingly rare phenomenon, occurring in an estimated one out of every 10,000 gems, and the precise science behind individual colors remains a mystery.
In addition to the Juliet Pink Diamond, Diamonds: Rare Brilliance will introduce U.S. audiences to one of the world’s rarest diamonds — a Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet named the “Argyle Violet” after the Argyle mine in Western Australia. There are no other known diamonds of this combination of colors or with the same clarity and size, and it is the largest Violet to be discovered in the Argyle Diamond Mine. The 9.17 original rough stone was an unusual shape characterized by deep grooves and an uneven surface. After more than 80 hours of carving and polishing, the diamond on view in NHM’s Gem Vault is a 2.83-carat oval that is set in a designer ring surrounded by Argyle Vivid Pink Diamonds.
“We are so pleased to be able to share these exceptional stones with the public through the Rare Brilliance exhibition at the Natural History Museum of LA,” Scott West from L.J. West Diamonds said. “Just as the ring and necklace settings provide a backdrop to highlight the brilliance of the cut stones, the excellent company of NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall collection will provide the perfect context for these rare and important diamonds.”
The NHM Gem and Mineral Hall
The world-renowned, 6,000-square-foot Gem and Mineral Hall at NHM opened in 1978 and is one of the finest permanent exhibit halls of gems and minerals in the world. The Hall houses a selection of the Museum’s extensive collection — displaying more than 2,000 spectacular specimens within two large galleries — which as a whole includes more than 150,000 specimens and is the largest in the western United States. The NHM Mineral Sciences Department curates the museum’s world-class collection of minerals, rocks, gems, ores, and meteorites, and it conducts research focusing on furthering scientific understanding of these materials. The department actively maintains the Gem and Mineral Hall and provides general and scientific programming through the Museum’s Gem & Mineral Council.
The Juliet Pink Diamond – The exceptional gem is a Fancy Intense Pink diamond, VVS2. Cut from an estimated 90-carat rough from South Africa, the rare gem is fashioned in an oval-cut shape at a noteworthy 30.03 carats and is set in a magnificent necklace with marquise, pear and round-cut shape white diamonds, VVS E-F totaling 98.70 carats.
The Argyle Violet – an historic diamond, the its 2.83-carat oval shape is making it the largest violet diamond unearthed from the Argyle diamond mine, polished from an extraordinary 9.17-carat rough diamond. An impossible rarity, the Argyle Violet possesses the unique color grading of Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet, and it headlines the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Signature Tender.
The Rainbow Necklace – a glorious and brilliant design that features over more than 100 rare natural color diamonds from the vast color spectrum. The necklace features radiant-cut shape multi-color diamonds at a noteworthy 35.93-carat weight and is set in a custom, one- of- a- kind 18-karatK white gold arch necklace. The necklace took over 5 years to assemble as collecting the diamonds of similar shape and size was extremely miraculous occurrence.
The Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple Diamond – The Victorian Orchid is an extremely rare gem; the diamond is one of the rarest stones currently worldwide because of– due to its unique color. The Victorian Orchid is a Fancy Vivid Purple diamond, SI2. This rare gem is fashioned in a cushion-cut shaped at a noteworthy 1.64 carats and is set in a flower designer ring with a match pair of kite- shape diamonds ofs 0.42 carats.platinum ring setting.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007
Groups of 10 or more people receive discounted rates on Museum admission. Group tickets available now by calling (213) 763-3218 or by emailing groupsalesNH@nhm.org for reservations and more information.
Tickets to the exhibition are free for NHM members. To become a member, visit nhm.org/membership.
About the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles. It is open daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913. It has amassed one of the world’s most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history — with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years. The Natural History Family of Museums includes the NHM, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum (Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire), and the William S. Hart Park and Museum (Newhall, California). The Family of Museums serves more than 1 million families and visitors annually and is a national leader in research, exhibitions and education.
About L.J. West Diamonds
The journey for L.J. West Diamonds spans over five decades and three generations, and it continues to this day. L.J. West has established itself as one of the world’s most distinguished houses for some of the most rare and important exotic Natural Fancy Color Diamonds to have ever been unearthed.
Advocates for the collectors whose treasures we provide. L.J. West is an expert in every phase of the jewelry process – from sourcing to the cutting, polishing and final design. Each exceptional jewel is carefully set to become a unique work of art.