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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Iris Moonstone Necklace

Moonstone and diamond necklace.
Photo by Patti David. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G11618-00
Weight 35.63 ct

Gift of Zoltan David in 2017.This object was designed by Zoltan David and made by Zoltan David and Brian Kruppenbacher.

The Iris Necklace features moonstones and diamonds set in platinum and bronze. Donated and designed by renowned jewelry artist, Zoltan David, and created by Zoltan and goldsmith Brian Kruppenbacher, it took 225 hours to complete. The center gem is a 35.63ct marquise cut cat’s-eye moonstone, set in a platinum and bronze pendant. There are 35 round cabochon cut moonstones in the necklace, each weighing 0.50ct. The blue metal is bronze with a blue patina. Pure platinum is inlaid into the blue bronze in the pendant and on each of the round links of the necklace.The inlaid platinum is hand engraved and formed into spheres, a process called “shaped inlay” that is a patented invention of Zoltan David. The reverse side of the pendant has a palladium backplate that is engraved with the following: By the light of a silvery moon, an ocean of life awaits your magical touch. There are 164 ideal-cut diamonds with a total weight of 1.20ct, all D-F in color and VVS to internally flawless in clarity. The Iris Moonstone Necklace was a 2016 American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) award winner.

Moonstone is the most highly prized of the feldspar gems and is valued for its beautiful blue sheen, called adularescence. Flawless, clear, or translucent gems exhibiting flashes of blue, as seen in this necklace, are most valuable. Moonstones are typically cut as cabochons to best show off this optical phenomenon. The moonstones in the Iris Necklace are from India.



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