Since it opened in 2012, we've been incredibly proud of our gemstone and mineral museum, which sits alongside our TV studio. It plays host to a vast number of different specimens from all over the world, including many of the rarest jewels ever discovered. You've probably seen it on TV many times. Maybe you've even visited our building in the past and viewed these treasures with your own eyes.
Sitting at the heart of the museum is the jewel in the crown of our collection - our centrepiece display. In a locked glass cabinet lie the twelve most extraordinary jewels we've ever collected. They include a 195-carat Aquamarine and a 1,641-carat Rutile Quartz, a 24.64-carat Paraiba Tourmaline and, of course, the 988-carat Grace Morganite - the largest faceted Morganite gemstone in the world.
We've always believed that we are only ever custodians of our gems, a moment in their long story that will continue after we have passed our jewels on. In that spirit, we've resolved that these treasures have been in our museum for long enough and that it's time for somebody else to enjoy these world-class specimens. Therefore, we'll be showing these unique treasures on our TV channel across the weekend of Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July 2021.
Each centrepiece will be joined by a selection of jewellery featuring the same gemstone type, allowing as many collectors as possible to be a part of this remarkable moment in our history. Read on to learn a little more about each of these twelve natural wonders. We hope you enjoy seeing these spectacular pieces for yourself and that you'll be able to join us for our Night at the Museum event as we seek their new curators during this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Lot 1 - The Grace Morganite
988 carats - Africa
The World's Largest Faceted Morganite. Morganite of this quality is rarely found in large sizes. Before now, the most significant piece to be cut was a 598.70-carat cushion shape from Madagascar, which is on display in the British Museum. This exquisitely cut Morganite, which was discovered in Africa, has wonderful colour saturation and is loupe clean, with delicious pink tones.
Lot 2 - Sphalerite
39.15 carats - Aliva mine, Spain
From a mine that depleted in 1989, this Sphalerite is an incredibly rare find. Its beauty is due to an extremely high zinc content, which gives this jewel its vibrant red colour. In addition, it is a gemstone that has three times more fire than a Diamond, making it one of the most dispersive natural gems on the planet.
Lot 3 - Turkish Diaspore (Csarite®)
10.52 carats - Turkey
This is one of the most beautiful Turkish Diaspore examples ever discovered. The gem features the most exceptional colour change we have seen in any Diaspore, and its value is enhanced by the fact that it is loupe clean. It is incredibly unusual to come across a specimen of this quality in such a remarkable carat weight.
Lot 4 - Paraiba Tourmaline
24.64 carats - Mozambique
This Paraiba Tourmaline is one of the largest we've ever seen and is eye clean. Its composition, which includes copper, gives the jewel an intense glow, for which the gemstone is famed. To find a Paraiba Tourmaline of any size and quality today is no easy task, so you can understand our excitement at discovering this unique treasure.
Lot 5 - Mandarin Garnet
10.61 carats - Tanzania
At over 10 carats, this Mandarin Garnet has one of the most intense saturations we have ever seen in a gemstone. Its vibrant orange colour is due to its manganese content. This remarkable stone was expertly cut by the magnificent lapidarists of Idar-Oberstein, where they accentuated its noteworthy performance of light.
Lot 6 - The Chameleon Sphene
22.2 carats - Madagascar
Sphene is rarely found in large sizes, and at 22.2-carats, this is very large indeed. Its value is enhanced further by its ability to change colour. From a rich Chrome Diopside hue under incandescent light to a stunning raspberry red hue under candescent light, this fiery treasure is one of the most phenomenal jewels we have ever seen.
Lot 7 - The Joey Hiddenite
365 carats - Brazil
Discovered in Brazil, this Hiddenite Spodumene is entirely natural. While other pieces on the market may have deeper colours after going through an irradiation treatment process, the colour of the Joey Hiddenite is purely the work of Mother Nature. The gem is wonderfully cut in an elongated fancy shape, and the piece is loupe clean.
Lot 8 - Tanzanite Crystal
4,011 carats - Tanzania
This Tanzanite is truly unique and weighs over four thousand carats. The colour is deep and rich, and some think it could yield AAAA quality faceted stones. We kept this piece for our collection because, as a crystal, it has beautiful striations and perfect termination to one side. Remarkably, the colour within this stunning Tanzanite is entirely natural.
Lot 9 - The Aurora Rubellite
102.6 carats - Nigeria
This stunning Rubellite Tourmaline was unearthed in Nigeria during a search for Paraiba Tourmaline. Not usually known to be found in such large sizes, this piece has a stunning purplish-red hue, which has been maximised in this masterfully cut gem. As this gorgeous colour is entirely natural, this Rubellite is a rare gift from nature.
Lot 10 - The Fuchsia Kunzite
451.68 carats - Afghanistan
With an intensity of colour rarely seen in a Kunzite from Afghanistan before, this piece is truly legendary. It is loupe clean in appearance and has been magnificently cut into a perfect trilliant shape. The gem's brilliance is breathtaking, and it is almost impossible to imagine that a more perfect Kunzite could exist anywhere on the planet.
Lot 11 - The Searene Aquamarine
195 carats - Brazil
The Searene Aquamarine earned its spot in our centrepiece due to its virtually peerless purity of colour. Its appearance is similar to the much sought after Aquamarine gemstones discovered in Santa Maria, Brazil. However, we have never seen a piece so large and still so vividly coloured. This stunning specimen is octagon in shape and is loupe clean.
- 9am - Sphalerite with Toby Cavill (including a preview of the weekend)
- 4pm - The Fuchsia Kunzite
- 8pm - The Joey Hiddenite with Toby Cavill
- 9am - The Chameleon Sphene
- 12pm - Mandarin Garnet
- 4pm - The Searene Aquamarine
- 8pm - The Grace Morganite
- 9am - Paraiba Tourmaline with Toby Cavill
- 12pm - The Aurora Rubellite with David Troth
- 4pm - Csarite with David Troth
- 8pm - Tanzanite Crystal with David Troth
WATCH GEMPORIA LIVE
We hope you can join us on Friday 16th, Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July 2021 for our Night at the Museum event to see these gemstones up close. You can watch Gemporia live 24-hours a day on Freeview channel 44, Sky channel 665, Virgin Media channel 755 and Freesat channel 805, as well as on YouTube or right here on our website. Click the button above to watch now.