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Colored diamond butterfly on display at LA museum

December 05, 2013


The “Aurora Butterfly of Peace,” comprised of more than 200 fancy color diamonds, was pieced together one stone at a time.

Los Angeles--A private collection of fancy color diamonds arranged in the shape of a butterfly is on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM).

The “Aurora Butterfly of Peace,” located in the museum’s Gem and Mineral Hall’s Gem Vault, will be exhibited until June 3.

The 240 natural colored diamonds making up the butterfly weigh a total of 167 carats, and include purple diamonds from Russia, blue and oranges from South Africa, lime green stones from Brazil, violet-hued gems and dozens of pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia.

Diamond curator Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman assembled the sparkling insect, and it took 12 years to complete.

“The Aurora Butterfly of Peace is both an exquisite artistic creation and a valuable scientific collection. I am interested in a diamond’s flaws and impurities, which offer clues into the geological conditions that have dubbed diamonds ‘messengers of the deep earth,’” said Eloise Gaillou, associate curator of the Gems and Minerals Collection at NHM and a diamond expert.

The butterfly also has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington.

NHM’s mineral sciences department curates collections that include minerals, rocks, gemstones, ores and meteorites, and conducts research focusing on furthering scientific understanding of these minerals.

Earlier this year, the museum exhibited a collection of five heart-shaped colored diamonds set into jewelry, called The Lady Heart Diamond Collection.

Additional information on the Aurora Butterfly of Peace exhibit can be found on the NHM website.