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100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World

A new exhibition featuring the world-famous
Jonker I Diamond

December 8, 2023–April 21, 2024

Rectangular-shaped clear gem with purple and green swirls behind it on a black background

General Info

- Inside the Gem and Mineral Hall
Free with Museum Admission

Step into a dazzling array of magnificent gemstones in NHM’s Hixon Gem Vault and experience 100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World, an extraordinary display of incredible gems from around the world. 

100 Carats brings together over two dozen gems–a never-before-seen in public collection–each a stunning and massive representation of its kind. Among them are beryl gems saturated in deep blue aquamarine, a near-flawless emerald, a spectacular royal blue sapphire, and a rainbow-filled clear goshenite. Colorful tourmalines include a deep red rubellite, a vibrant turquoise-colored paraiba, and an exquisitely-cut 111 carat green tourmaline. 

The centerpiece of the exhibit, the Jonker I Diamond, is the largest stone cut from the Jonker Diamond–the fourth largest diamond in the world when it was found in 1934–and weighs in at 125 carats, placing it among the largest cut diamonds in the world. This historic gem has passed through the hands of global royalty and Hollywood stars, but has not been on public view for decades.

Aside from their beauty and brilliance, these exceedingly rare 100-carat (or larger) gems also tell the scientific story of the history of our planet. They provide an unparalleled glimpse into geological processes and circumstances that happened millions of years ago to form them in the first place, and show how every gem is a minor geologic miracle. Their existence is evidence of massive mountain-building events, violent volcanic eruptions, and the unforgiving pressures and temperatures of the Earth’s interior.

As former president of the Gemological Institute of America Bill Boyajian notes, "Who could assemble this many 100-carat and larger stones? And what a treat it’s going to be for the audience. Once in a lifetime."

This exhibition was organized by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in collaboration with Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels.
 

Rectangular clear diamond against a white background

The centerpiece of the exhibit, the Jonker I Diamond, is the largest stone cut from the Jonker Diamond–the fourth largest diamond in the world when it was found in 1934–and weighs in at 125 carats, placing it among the largest cut diamonds in the world. This historic gem has passed through the hands of global royalty and Hollywood stars, but has not been on public view for decades.

Rectangular green emerald on a white background

This massive 241-carat emerald known as the “Crown of Colombia” is known to be one of the most perfect “emerald cut” gems in existence. The rectangular cut with diagonal corners helps lock in color and protect it from chipping and is so common for emeralds that it became known as the “emerald cut” even on other gems.

Square-shaped blue transparent gem on a white background

This 108-carat aquamarine known as “The Blue Star” comes straight from the collection of iconic jeweler Robert Procop, allowing viewers to see the deep blues and greens within this gem. While many aquamarine gems are heated to intensify their colors, "The Blue Star" is all natural, with a cut that shows off its incredible sparkling pattern.

Oval-shapred pink gem against a white background

While most sapphires are blue, “The Pink Princess” is a rarer pink sapphire so bright that it borders on being a ruby. Its bubblegum pink color makes it what is known as a “fancy sapphire” and it’s a mesmerizing nearly 110-carat example of how beautiful a pink sapphire can be.

Rectangular-shaped gem with blue on the top and orange on the bottom

This bicolored 153-carat topaz has not only a fitting name, “The Ukrainian Flag,” but also a fascinating story. While it’s impossible to know exactly why this gem came out with such a clear divide between two colors, it likely had to do with a change in the chemicals around the crystal as it grew–suggesting the very atmosphere around it saw a significant shift as the massive gem reached approximately half its final size.

Rectangular green gem on a white background

The Imperial Tourmaline gets its bright green color from small amounts of vanadium and chromium in the crystal. While this 111-carat crystal courtesy of Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels may actually be small compared to its massive car-sized cousins, bigger tourmaline crystals have more defects and weaker color.

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The centerpiece of the exhibit, the Jonker I Diamond, is the largest stone cut from the Jonker Diamond–the fourth largest diamond in the world when it was found in 1934–and weighs in at 125 carats, placing it among the largest cut diamonds in the world. This historic gem has passed through the hands of global royalty and Hollywood stars, but has not been on public view for decades.

This massive 241-carat emerald known as the “Crown of Colombia” is known to be one of the most perfect “emerald cut” gems in existence. The rectangular cut with diagonal corners helps lock in color and protect it from chipping and is so common for emeralds that it became known as the “emerald cut” even on other gems.

This 108-carat aquamarine known as “The Blue Star” comes straight from the collection of iconic jeweler Robert Procop, allowing viewers to see the deep blues and greens within this gem. While many aquamarine gems are heated to intensify their colors, "The Blue Star" is all natural, with a cut that shows off its incredible sparkling pattern.

While most sapphires are blue, “The Pink Princess” is a rarer pink sapphire so bright that it borders on being a ruby. Its bubblegum pink color makes it what is known as a “fancy sapphire” and it’s a mesmerizing nearly 110-carat example of how beautiful a pink sapphire can be.

This bicolored 153-carat topaz has not only a fitting name, “The Ukrainian Flag,” but also a fascinating story. While it’s impossible to know exactly why this gem came out with such a clear divide between two colors, it likely had to do with a change in the chemicals around the crystal as it grew–suggesting the very atmosphere around it saw a significant shift as the massive gem reached approximately half its final size.

The Imperial Tourmaline gets its bright green color from small amounts of vanadium and chromium in the crystal. While this 111-carat crystal courtesy of Robert Procop Exceptional Jewels may actually be small compared to its massive car-sized cousins, bigger tourmaline crystals have more defects and weaker color.