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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Pearl and Peridot Haircomb

Pearl and Peridot Haircomb (NMNH G9918) from the National Gem Collection
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G9918-00
Locality Indiana, United States

Gift of American Gem Society in 1989.This object was designed by Aldo Cipullo and made by B.A. Ballou & Co.

This yellow gold hair comb has freshwater pearls and peridot. It has a very organic, naturalistic feel to it as the gold “flows” around the pearls and gemstones. This hair comb is part of the 31-piece American Gem Society (AGS) collection for the Smithsonian Institution titled “American Gemstone Jewelry Collection.” The collection was commissioned by the AGS to help increase Americans’ understanding and appreciation of native gemstones. All of the major gemstones were from North America. Some gems were from the Smithsonian’s own collection (pearls and peridot), and others were gifts (peridot). Aldo Cipullo designed each piece; he was a Coty Award winner and a well-known jewelry designer who created the famous “love” bracelet for Cartier. The Smithsonian curator at the time wanted statement pieces that would look appropriate on exhibit, so wearability was not a consideration. The American Gemstone Jewelry Collection toured several museums and continues to be loaned to this day. Each piece from the Collection is a one-of-a-kind design.


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