|Catalog Number||NMNH G9746-00|
Gift of Mr. Clifford V. Brokaw III in 1983.
This blue topaz gem is carved with a reverse intaglio of the Smithsonian sunburst. It was custom engraved and faceted and weighs 71.44ct. One of the most recognized symbols of the Smithsonian Institution is the blue and gold sunburst logo. Derived from the coat of arms of Smithsonian founder James Smithson, the sunburst was approved as part of the Smithsonian’s official seal on June 3, 1966. With alternating straight and wavy rays representing heat and light, in heraldic terms the sunburst is an emblem of glory and absolute power signifying “the fountain of life” and “the light of heaven.” The Smithsonian Sunburst Topaz was donated to the National Gem Collection in 1983.
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