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Rare photos and gems at GIA

CARLSBAD — In a special exhibit, Gemological Institute of America (GIA) offers visitors an opportunity to see extraordinary pieces of historic and gemological significance side-by-side with their iconic photos.

The pieces were featured in the scientific journal Gems & Gemology (G&G). With “The Beauty of Science: Gems and Gemology,” featuring the photography of Harold and Erica Van Pelt, and will be on display at the GIA, 5345 Armada Drive from May 19 through December.

“The Van Pelts’ photos captured the synergy between the science and beauty of gems. From 1981 to 2009, their work graced the covers of 93 issues, as well as many inside pages,” said Terri Ottaway, curator of the GIA Museum. “The beautiful gems and jewelry in this exhibit give context to the exquisite photos created by Harold & Erica Van Pelt.”

The exhibit features 15 cases and more than 20 pieces. Highlights include:

The Maharaja of Indore necklace contains 15 fine Colombian emeralds recovered during the Spanish Conquest of the New World. The 374 diamonds were cut in India in the 17th Century.

A Colombian emerald and diamond necklace with matching earrings designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. in the 1950s. The three largest emeralds range from 6.65 to 7.41 carats.

An intense rubellite ring (13.8 carats) and necklace (18.5 carats) – both designed by Jeanne Larson – from the Tourmaline Queen Mine in San Diego County.

“In our work with G&G, we were able to photograph some of the finest, most valuable, and most unusual gems, minerals, and jewelry in the world. It was both a challenge and a privilege,” said Erica Van Pelt. “We are delighted to be part of this exhibit honoring G&G’s 80th anniversary.”

For more details, visit GIA’s website or call (800) 421-7250.