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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Topaz Pendant

Topaz pendant (NMNH G9931)
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G9931-00
Locality Texas, United States
Weight 5.28 ct

Gift of American Gem Society in 1989.This object was designed by Aldo Cipullo and made by Addison Saunders.

The 18k white gold pendant has a round-cut blue topaz gem, accented with 15 diamonds (14 round brilliant cut and one pear-shape, with a total weight of 0.62 carat). The 5.28 carat topaz is from Texas and is a beautiful slightly greenish-blue color with wonderful clarity. The pendant has a fluid tear-drop shape highlighting the blue topaz along with the asymmetry of the “sprinkling” of diamonds down the right side of the pendant. This pendant 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, but for this piece the topaz and the diamonds were gifts. 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 be appropriate for display, 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 one-of-a-kind in design.



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