Throughout history there have been many notable gemstones. Here are some of the most famous.

The American Golden Topaz

A faceted topaz weighing 22,892.50 carats, making it the largest cut yellow topaz in the world, as well as one of the largest faceted gems in the world, period. On the left side in the above photo is the Lindsay Uncut Topaz, weighing 70 lbs, and the one on the right is the Freeman Uncut Topaz, weighing 111 lbs. All three stones are part of the Smithsonian Museum's collection. A photo of the American Golden Topaz in its display case. The sphere right along side it is the Golden Topaz Sphere, which weighs 12,555 carats. The stone being held for this photo, to show scale.

The Bismark Sapphire Necklace

The 98.6-carat deep blue sapphire in this diamond and platinum necklace

was designed by Cartier and was found in Sri Lanka.

The piece was a gift to the Smithsonian Institute by Countess Mona von Bismark in 1967.

The Chalk Emerald Ring

The superb clarity and deep green color of the 37.82-carat Chalk Emerald ranks among the very finest Columbian emeralds. According to legend, it was once the centerpiece of an emerald and diamond necklace belonging to a maharani of the former state of Baroda in India. The ring, in its display case. It originally weighed 38.40 carats, but was re-cut and set in a ring, by Harry Winston Inc. It is surrounded by sixty pear-shaped diamonds (totaling 15 carats), The ring was a gift to the Smithsonian Institute by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk in 1972.

The Delong Star Ruby

The Delong Star Ruby resides in the Natural History Museum in New York City. It weighs 100.32 carats. In 1964 the Delong Star Ruby, along with the Star of India, was the object of an infamous burglary carried out by Jack Murphy, known as Murph the Surf, and two other men. They were ransomed from $25,000 and both recovered. The Delong Star was found at a designated drop off site - a phone booth in Florida.

The Gordon Sapphire Necklace

The Gordon Sapphire set in this necklace, along with a star sapphire pendant-ring, went up for auction in April of 2002 at Sotheby's Auction House. Both pieces belonged to Aron Gordon, the founder of Gordon Jewelers. Here is what Sotheby's had to say about the piece: "The pendant set with an emerald-cut sapphire weighing approximately 50.00 carats, within a clustered frame set with 10 marquise-shaped, 26 pear-shaped, 7 round and 25 baguette diamonds weighing approximately 14.50 carats, the necklace set with 51 round, 56 marquise-shaped and 4 pear-shaped diamonds weighing a total of approximately 22.50 carats, mounted in platinum, length 17 inches, pendant detaches, may be worn separately as a brooch."

The Gordon Star Sapphire

The Gordon Star Sapphire set in a pendant-ring that came up for auction at Sothebys Auction House in April, 2002. This is what they had to say about it: "The oval-shaped star sapphire cabochon weighing approximately 52.00 carats, framed by 24 pear-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 6.60 carats, mounted in platinum, ring shank detachable, retractable pendant loop. Estimate: $7000 to $9000"

Aron S. Gordon (1911-2001), was a native of Houston. Aron Gordon attended the University of Texas and later worked for the family business, Gordon's Jewelers, founded by his father in 1905. During World War II, he joined the United States Navy and was stationed in Pearl Harbor where he served as an officer on the staff of Admiral Chester Nimitz. After the war, he returned home to resume his position in the family business. In 1989, when the company was sold, Aron Gordon was Co-Chairman of the Board. By that time, the Gordon Jewelry Corporation, with over 600 stores, had become the second largest retail jeweler in the country, and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Aron Gordon and his wife Anaruth were avid collectors and traveled extensively from the late 1940s to 1989. They both served on the Board of Trustees of The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. In addition, Aron Gordon served on many boards as Director or Trustee, including the Jewelers of America, the Jewelry Industry Council, the Houston Symphony, and the National Jewish Hospital in Denver. In 1993, Aron Gordon was elected into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Both Aron and Anaruth had been honored by St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation and the Houston Youth Symphony & Ballet as Cultural Leader of the Year. Anaruth Gordon passed away in 1995.

The Hixon Ruby Crystal

The Hixon Ruby Crystal is a 196.10-carat gem. It was donated to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles in 1978 by Frederick C. Hixon. It is considered to be one of the most perfect large ruby crystals in the world.

The Logan Sapphire Brooch

Historically the finest sapphire gems came from Sri Lanka and Burma, and the same is pretty much true today. Sri Lanka, nicknamed the "Gem Island," has been an important source of sapphires, rubies, and other gemstones for more than two thousand years. The stones that have been eroded from Sri Lanka's central mountains are still plucked by hand from gravel deposits that cover most of the southern half of the island. Sapphires from Sri Lanka are typically light to medium blue, and gemstones have been cut that weigh up to several hundred carats. The National Gem Collection boasts one of the largest fine blue sapphire gems, including the 422.99-carat Logan Sapphire from Sri Lanka.


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