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Museums with good colored stones collections

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 3, 2009
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7,565
I want to start this thread because people travel, or go cross-country (ies), or simply want to see collections of gemstones. I would like to see/make a list of museums worth visiting with good collections of gems. It started with TL mentioning The Field museum Grainger Hall of Gems and I have never been there, and I have visited Chicago twice! I think if we all contribute, it will be a nice list.

My turn:

Moscow - Diamond Fund (long lines!)
Fersman mineralogical museum (small, easily accessible and calm)

St. Petersburg - the Hermitage (be aware though, that before you get to any gems or Skythian or Sarmatian gold, you'll be distracted by DaVinci or what not); but there are stones everywhere, the columns made of jasper and malachite... and the Amber Room has been restored

Ekaterinburg - Museum of History of Gem-cutting and Jewelry
Museum of fine arts

I have been to the Smithsonian and to the Met but it was at a time when I was not interested in gemology so perhaps someone can comment on them more.

I would recommend Benaki Museum in Greece for their jewelry collections

But we want to go to Israel - anything there?
My son is asking to take him to Brazil - has anyone been there? Any museums featuring colored stones?

Where else have you been and what is worth seeing?

Please contribute whoever can, it could be a fun thread!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has -- I think -- an exhibit now titled "Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern"...just heard about it, haven't seen it.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The Grainger Hall of Gems at the Field Museum is pretty mediocre to me. It has that one gorgeous fire opal that I showed you in your fire opal thread, and some other beautiful pieces, but it also has plenty of really ugly gems that it considers to be fine specimens. I have a thread posted here about the Grainger hall of gems with some of my commentary on several key pieces. The premier gem collection in the United States is probably at the Smithsonian. The late great Harry Winston helped to create that collection as he wanted America to have it's own "royal jewels."

I would kill to see the Amber Room at the Hermitage.

ETA: Here's my thread on the Grainger Hall of Gems at the Field Museum

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/chicago-field-museum-grainger-hall-of-gems.134056/
 
Joined
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57
The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History has an amazing collection including the Hope Diamond, Marie Antoinette's earrings, and many other beautiful stones. Admission is also free =)
 

Aoife

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 23, 2010
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I agree with TL's assessment of the Grainger Hall of Gems, which we made a point of seeing the last time we were in Chicago. Our overall impression was that, with a few exceptions, most of the gems were there because someone had gifted them to the Field MUseum, not because they had any particular value as fine examples of a type of gemstone. What a disappointment!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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37,517
The Smithsonian has a wonderful collection. For major bling, the British Crown Jewels are droolworthy too.
 

karpouzi

Shiny_Rock
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Dec 31, 2009
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307
The Ilias Lalaounis museum in Athens is a lot of fun, not so much for gemstones though but more for workmanship and design.
 

dragonfly411

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 25, 2007
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The British Crown Jewels for sure! It is a must see for any gemstone lover.
 

cellentani

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 28, 2008
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LD

Ideal_Rock
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And if you visit Buckingham Palace in the next few months you'll be able to see a collection of Faberge.

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul has some amazing pieces of jewellery including the 86ct Spoonmakers diamond (shaped like a spoon - but to us gemlovers we'd call it a pear :naughty: ), gem-set armour, an emerald handled dagger for example etc etc.
 

Art Nouveau

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
678
A few more:

Michael Scott gem collection in Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA

"All that Giltters" Exhibit in San Diego Natural History Museum

Danish Crown Jewels in Rosenborg Palace, Copenhagen

Austrian Crown Jewels in the Treasury, Vienna

The Green Vaults, new and historic, in Dresden, East Germany - Baroque era treasures collected by August the Strong, King of Saxony. including the Dresden green diamond and jewelry collection with lots of big diamonds, emeralds, rubies, spinels and sapphires. One of the most amazing item is the gold and silver and gem enrusted minature recreation of the birthday party of the mogul emperor Aurangzeb, as described in John Baptiste Tavernier's book. This scene was also mentioned in Richard Wise's book "The French Blue". Pictures are not allowed in the museum, but below are a few postcards that I bought.

Emerald eagle ornament_s.jpg

Dresden green_s.jpg

Mogul birthday scene_s.jpg
 

sweet_pea

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
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250
The Victoria and Albert museum in London has a room of jewelry from all time periods and they have this big case with all different colored gemstone rings. I could have gazed at it forever! If that's the only reason you were going to that museum then I wouldn't because it's not a huge collection, but definitely stop and look in there if you're at the museum. I also liked seeing the British crown jewels at the Tower of London, but you don't have long to look because you're on a conveyor belt type thing that slowly moves you by the jewels.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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sweet_pea|1312928319|2987470 said:
The Victoria and Albert museum in London has a room of jewelry from all time periods and they have this big case with all different colored gemstone rings. I could have gazed at it forever! If that's the only reason you were going to that museum then I wouldn't because it's not a huge collection, but definitely stop and look in there if you're at the museum. I also liked seeing the British crown jewels at the Tower of London, but you don't have long to look because you're on a conveyor belt type thing that slowly moves you by the jewels.
But you can keep going back to the start - at least I did and went around about 10 times until I had REALLY seen everything! :lol:

One thing I've been pondering about posting is that I've quite often been underwhelmed by the quality of some collections you can see in museums and I know I've seen better gemstones on PS. I understand that we only see photos on here rather than the real thing but it just occurred to me that I think if we were to pool our gemstones, we would probably have a collection worthy of any museum!!!
 
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