Tucson, Ariz.–Gems and jewelry are really having their day in the museum spotlight, as there’s another exhibition now open that gives the public a closer look at some exceptional gemstones.
Somewhere In The Rainbow is partnering with the University of Arizona’s Mineral Museum, located in the school’s Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, for “A Modern Gem and Jewelry Collection.”
Somewhere In the Rainbow is an organization that speaks to museum curators, gallery owners, jewelry designers and gemologists with the goal of promoting the enjoyment and education of fine colored gemstones.
The exhibition highlights approximately 400 gems from Somewhere In The Rainbow’s own collection, allowing visitors to experience stones from six source areas–Africa; Brazil; the United States; Southeast Asia; “Exotic Locales,” highlighting some of the premier sources for fine gems like Kashmir; and “Sea & Sky,” for pearls and meteorites–and see minerals in their rough form.
A group of the jewels that are part of “A Modern Gem and Jewelry Collection”
It also includes works from 20 lapidary artists and designers, all of whom have won a Spectrum Award from the American Gem Trade Association in the past 20 years.
There also is a lapidary project, which was launched last year in Tucson with 11 of the top gem cutters, each of whom bring their own style of cutting, along with examples to illustrate the evolution of stone cutting.
A sapphire called the Buddha Blue, which was faceted between 1400 and 1500 A.D., inspired the lapidary project. Both Cigdem Lule of GemWorld International and Chris Smith of the American Gemological Laboratories have done documented research on the stone.
The museum’s visitors also will learn about the history of gemology in a display of historical gemological tools that were used to identify and study gemstones over time, featuring equipment from geologist Basil Anderson donated by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
The Buddha Blue, a sapphire cut between 1400 and 1500 A.D., inspired the part of the exhibition that highlights gem cutters and the evolution of the art over time.
“We are thrilled for this collaboration of educational forces in the mineral, gemstone and jewelry world to be experienced and enjoyed. This will be the first time that the Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection will be available to this extent as an educational exhibition, and we are honored to share it with U of A and all who visit,” said Shelly Sergent, curator of Somewhere In The Rainbow.
The exhibition will run through Jan. 15, 2018. The cost is admission to the university’s Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium.