Two exhibits are sharing the stage at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Museum located at the world headquarters in Carlsbad. The first is the renewal of the “Facets of GIA” that rotates new items into the display on a regular basis. There are more than 130 pieces on view, which includes gem crystals, gemstones, gem art objects, jewelry, equipment and books.
The second is part of the “Little & Large” exhibit that showcases seven local San Diego artists in cooperation with the San Diego Visual Arts Network. More than 100 artists will display a piece of jewelry (little) and a sculpture (large) at more than 40 venues throughout the county.
One of the most notable pieces in the Facets of GIA exhibit is a ruby and diamond necklace and earrings set, which contains 39 natural, unheated Burmese rubies set with 302 diamonds. According to Terri Ottaway, curator of the GIA Museum, an exciting feature of this suite is how the rubies (and some diamonds) present an exceptionally strong red fluorescent glow under long wave ultraviolet (UV) light.
“To see such high-caliber rubies is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Ottaway said. “A piece of this extraordinary quality is something you would see at the Oscars.”
Left: This ruby and diamond necklace contains 39 unheated Burmese rubies set with 302 diamonds. The image on the right shows the necklace and earrings fluorescing under ultra-violet light. Courtesy of Mona Lee Nesseth, Custom Estate Jewels, and a private collector.
A Cartier emerald and diamond aigrette circa 1925, set in platinum is also on display. Aigrette, a French term for egret (bird), refers to a spray of feathers used for adorning a woman’s head-dress and for similar ornaments in gems. The emerald aigrette comes with interchangeable green and lavender-colored feathers.
Emerald and diamond aigrette set in platinum and adorned with feathers, was made by Cartier circa 1925. Courtesy of a private collector
“With the summer season here it’s the perfect opportunity for jewelry and art enthusiasts to view these exciting collections,” said Ottaway. “We are proud to collaborate with the Little & Large by showcasing the works of local artists that will exude creativity and fun. There will be something for everyone to see.”
The artists displaying Little & Large pieces at the Institute include:
• Neal Bociek • Mirjam Butz-Brown • Alexandra Hart • Corrine Perez-Garcia • Wendell Perry • Lisa Slovis Mandel • Vickie Riggs
According to the San Diego Visual Arts Network, the artists’ works are designed to reflect inspiration from the upcoming Alexander Calder jewelry exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art. Calder is well-known for his larger-scale sculptures, but less so for his jewelry pieces.
The Little & Large exhibit at the Institute is currently open and runs through December. The Facets of GIA exhibit will be on display until May 2010.
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