Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals
The National Gem and Mineral Collection is one of the most significant collections of its kind in the world. The collection includes some of the most famous pieces of gems and minerals including the famous Hope Diamond and the Star of Asia Sapphire. There are currently over 15,000 individual gems in the collection, as well as 350,000 minerals and 300,000 samples of rock and ore specimens.[5] Additionally, the Smithsonian's National Gem and Mineral Collection houses approximately 35,000 meteorites, which is considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in the world.
The Hope Diamond is one of the most popular attractions in the exhibit. It weighs 45.52 carats (9.104 g), and is most well known for the supposed curse that it puts on its owners. Almost all of the previous owners of the diamond have been forced to sell it out of financial strife. The Star of Asia Sapphire has no curse on it, however it is one of the largest sapphires in the world, weighing in at an astonishing 330 carats (66 g), it was mined in Sri Lanka.

Part of the collection is displayed in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals, one of the many galleries in the Museum of Natural History. Some of the most important donors are Washington A. Roebling, the man who built the Brooklyn Bridge, who gave 16,000 specimens to the collection, Frederick A. Canfield, who donated 9,000 specimens to the collection, and Dr. Isaac Lea, who donated the base of the museum’s collection of 1312 gems and minerals.

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Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

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