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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Elbaite and Nephrite Bracelet

Oval cabochon-cut medium red purple elbaite (var. rubellite) (99.3 ct) in a bracelet with oval nephrite slab, set in yellow gold.
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G9933-00
Locality California, United States
Weight 99.3 ct

Gift of American Gem Society in 1989.This object was designed by Aldo Cipullo and made by Robert W. Walker.

This 18k yellow gold fancy cuff style bracelet features nephrite jade and pink tourmaline. The base of the top of the bracelet is set with a flat oval slab of green nephrite. Set atop the nephrite is a beautiful oval cabochon of pink tourmaline of large size, weighing almost 100 carats. The cuff has a ribbed motif with the gems bezel set and a hinged side. This bracelet 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 (nephrite), and others were gifts (tourmaline). 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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