(NEENAH, Wis.) - On Thursday, August 4, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company donated over 500 carats of rough diamonds to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Jewelers Mutual originally acquired this unique diamond collection to display in the company’s on-site R. Harder Gallery of Gems and Minerals.
The larger diamonds will be added to the Smithsonian’s public diamond exhibit and will be featured on the museum’s mineral website. This collection will also provide ongoing education to the jewelry industry, researchers and the buying public. Although these rough diamonds in their current state have limited retail market value, their worth to science is priceless.
As with all specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection, the rough diamonds will be made available for scientific study. Jeffrey Post, the curator for the Smithsonian’s Natural Gem and Mineral Collection, personally picked up the rough diamond collection and expressed enthusiasm about the opportunity, as he has been involved for several years with a group conducting research on rough diamonds.
“It’s very rare to know where some rough diamonds came from because typically, once they come out of the mine, they go to market and are sold,” Post said.
“Dr. Post has explained that this collection is particularly unusual and valuable to science because each diamond is labeled with the actual location where it was mined,” says Ron Harder, curator of the R. Harder Gallery and former president and CEO of Jewelers Mutual. “In most cases, diamonds lose any documentary links to their source by the time they reach the market.” This donation will greatly aid researchers as they study each specimen with distinct locality information.
Jewelers Mutual is committed to advancing the interests of the jewelry industry and buying public through its involvement with collecting and donating these gems. “It has been a great pleasure to work with Dr. Post and to ensure these diamonds will be available for generations to come for research and display,” said Amy Helein, G.G., salvage specialist and gallery curator for Jewelers Mutual.
Visit the Jewelers Mutual website at www.JewelersMutual.com to learn more.