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Smithsonian Gems

Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:30PM

This program is the second part of the Spectacular lecture series.

The National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution is renowned for its rare and magnificent gems, including the notorious Hope diamond, the exceptional 423-carat Logan sapphire, and the Carmen Lúcia ruby, one of the largest and finest examples in the world.

It is also known for its historic pieces, many of which were donated by Marjorie Merriweather Post. These include the Marie Antoinette earrings, the Blue Heart diamond, the Marie Louise diadem, and the Maximilian emerald. This beautifully illustrated talk by the curator-in-charge, Jeffrey E. Post, will explore the rich, fascinating stories behind some of the famous gems and jewels in the National Collection.

Event Timeline

5:30-6:30 p.m.: Self-guided touring of the mansion and Spectacular   
6-6:30 p.m.: Members-only wine-and-cheese reception. Join today!  
6:30-7:30 p.m.: Lecture  
7:30 p.m.: Book signing. Smithsonian Gems is available in the museum shop.

About the Spectacular Lecture Series

Join us and explore centuries of appreciation of gems and jewelry in this fascinating four-part series. Learn about how they captivated diverse cultures through history and continue to enthrall contemporary audiences. Gain insights of what makes a stone great, revel in the glamour of jewelry design in the 1930s and 40s, and immerse yourself in the Merriweather Post collection, arguably one of the most impressive jewelry ensembles of the 20th century.

Spectacular Gems and Jewelry from the Merriweather Post Collection was conceived of and organized by Hillwood’s chief curator and director of collections, Liana Paredes, who also wrote the publication of the same name. Liana passed away at her home on March 16, 2017. 

Thursday, October 5: Spectacular: The Merriweather Post Collection of Gems and Jewelry by Kate Markert

Thursday, October 12: Smithsonian Gems by Jeffrey Post

Thursday, October 19: Hollywood Glamour: Jewelry from the Silver Screen by Emily Stohrer

Thursday, October 26: Contemporary Interest in Gems and Jewelry, a conversation with Aja Raden and Kate Markert

Smithsonian Gems