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1990: Diamond Exhibition Museum Exhibits Natural Shaded Diamonds

November 1997

The great effort on the part of nature and nature’s helpers (professional diamond cutters) in terms of the final product that we call a polished diamond is demonstrated to great effect at the impressive exhibit currently running at New York’s Museum of Natural History. The exhibit is especially effective in demonstrating two things: first, the uniqueness of natural diamonds as opposed to man-made copies and second, the enormous variety of natural diamond colors.

The exhibit which will travel to other locations in the US and abroad following its April 26 closing date in New York, features dozens of famous, historic or otherwise noteworthy diamonds as well as artwork featuring diamonds, manuscripts and artifacts on loan from public and private collections all over the world. Although the exhibit may vary from location to location, the current installation’s highlights include: the 128.54-carat Tiffany, among the largest fancy yellow diamonds ever found; Elizabeth Taylor’s 33.19-carat emerald-cut Krupp diamond; and an array of jewels from Russia including the Diamond Crown of Peter the Great.

The exhibit also features interactive displays which demonstrate the various properties of diamonds that render them unique. These include a re-created mine tunnel which demonstrates how ancient volcanic eruptions created the pipes which yield diamonds and a model of diamond’s crystal structure.

Another such exhibit that seemed particularly to draw the interest of visitors borrows a scene from an episode of the original Superman television show in which the hero single-handedly crushed coal into a polished diamond. The exhibit invites visitors to test the strength of their grip with a special handle that compares the visitors’ strength to the amount of force required to produce diamonds.

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