Everything Gourmet

A Sparkle of a Show

Followed by a Gourmet Gazette Slide Show

The Walska pendant and brooch clip, 1971-1972, in yellow gold, emeralds, sapphires yellow and white diamonds and a yellow diamond in a briolette cut weighing 96.62 carats. This piece is a fine example of jewels that can be transformed. Collection Van Cleef & Arpels Patrick Gries ©Van Cleef & Arpels SA

Paris, France — The gemstones are shimmering behind closed doors right now. But one of the most beautiful exhibitions is unfolding in Paris this season at the National Museum of Natural History devoted to the gemstones of the world. Entitled Precious Gems, the show offers a journey into the good earth, a good earth abounding with beauty, beauty showcased in a glittering array of emeralds, rubies, diamonds, sapphires but the semi-precious as well like the peridots, known as the emeralds of the night, or the amethysts in their myriad hues of violet and purple. There is a blue topaz from the Urals that is over 250 million years old. So if you are waiting for the museums to re-open in France or if you can’t come to France when they do, The Gourmet Gazette brings the sparkling show to you.

The poppy clip jewel, 1937, in platinum, yellow gold and the Mystery Setting that Van Clef & Arpels is celebrated for in rubies and diamonds. Formerly in the collection of Her Royal Highness Faiza of Egypt. Collection Van Cleef & Arpels Patrick Gries ©Van Cleef & Arpels SA

The show is being held in collaboration wit the Parisian house of high jewelry Van Cleef & Arpels. Precious Gemstones juxtaposes science with the aesthetic showcasing some 500 pieces from the museum’s extraordinary collection of minerals and gems and objects — one of the most prestigious in the world — complementing an array of 200 jewelry creations from the heritage collection of the house of Van Cleef & Arpels. The ruby opens the show and is presented in its raw state, as cut gemstones and a high jewelry piece, a three-part presentation that is found throughout the second part of the exhibition with myriad gems and minerals.

Tantalizing tanzanite cut into a 30.9 carat gemstone, from the Merelani mines, (Arusha, Tanzania). Photo ©MNHN / F. Farges

One of the most spectacular pieces in the show comes from the museum’s own collection, the great table of Orsini in black and white marble and incrusted with precious gems and stones like lapis lazuli, jasper and mother-of-pearl.The table was given to Cardinal Mazarin, the chief minister to Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV in 1659 by the princes of Orsini and was subsequently given to the Count de Buffon, the superintendent of the Botanical Gardens of the museum by Louis XV, a monarch who was particularly fascinated with the sciences. The exhibition also showcases the dynamics of the Earth that create minerals and gems like pressure, temperature, fluids, water and oxygen.
The exhibition is running through to June 14th.
©The Gourmet Gazette

A Gourmet Gazette Slide Show

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