I was so honored I was able to go on a private tour of the National Gem Collection at the Museum of Natural History in Washington DC led by Dr. Jeffrey Post, the curator of the collection.

Anyone that knows me well knows that from an early age I have been fascinated by gems and minerals. These natural objects from the earth give me so much energy and I adore learning about the history of each piece. My grandfather was a jewelry wholesaler so I think it is in my blood.

Dr. Jeff Post is so knowledgeable and passionate about the gem collection that I was able to learn who had donated the stunning pieces and the history behind each piece. The crowning moment for me was when I was able to go into the vault at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. To be able to touch each piece closely and look carefully at the design and color of the pieces was exhilarating.

The collection contains over 10,000 individual specimens. The Hope Diamond a 45.52ct natural blue diamond designed by Pierre Cartier was a gift from Harry Winston. The Hope diamond is the single most visited item in the Smithsonian Institution.

The diamond and emerald necklaces that I fell in love with are located at the Janet Annenberg Hooker hall of Geology, Gems & Minerals that houses over 600 gem & jewelry pieces. The gem collection has been built with donations from individual and corporate donors for the public to enjoy free of charge.

The whole experience hosted by Dr. Jeff Post was surreal! I am so grateful to Dr. Post and Elizabeth Duggall, the Deputy Director of the Hirshhorn, for organizing my tour and providing me with such lasting memories.