Sunday, December 1, 2013

Great Big Aquamarine

The Hope Diamond is the star attraction at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum but a rival is on display in an adjoining gallery. The 10,363 carat Dom Pedro Aquamarine radiates a mandora of rainbows. That's five pounds of pale green gemstone.  Its obelisk shape repeats that of the nearby Washington Monument and is also a reminder of the natural crystalline structure of many minerals. Dug up in Brazil, it was a much larger boulder that broke into three pieces when the workers dropped it. Many large gems have a bad luck story in their background. The aura of unluckiness that clings to the Hope Diamond will always be more glamourous, but this big aquamarine is my new favorite.