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'Queen of Kilimanjaro' tiara on display at Royal Museum
Nov '08
"Queen of Kilimanjaro" Tiara
"Queen of Kilimanjaro" Tiara
The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents Light & Stone: Gems from the Collection of Michael Scott, on display from December 20, 2008 in the Gallery of Gems and Gold, part of the new Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth's Treasures opening the same day on Level 2 of the Weston Family Wing. Arguably the most important private collection in North America, the Michael Scott Collection has few rivals in the world, outside of the royal families.

These breathtaking and unmatched specimens of precious stones, gem crystals, jewellery and gem artworks are part of the ROM's A Season of Gems and will be on display until November 15, 2009.

“We thank Michael Scott for choosing the ROM as the first Canadian venue to display his world-class collection,” said William Thorsell, ROM Director and CEO. “It is fitting that we inaugurate the new Gallery of Gems and Gold with this truly peerless exhibition.”

Exhibition curator Dr. Kim Tait, Associate Curator of Mineralogy, states, “This display is extremely comprehensive. Mr. Scott has collected gem species of almost every colour imaginable. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to better understand the incredible diversity of gems and crystals through artistic settings, expert cuts and masterful sculptures.”

Light & Stone: Gems from the Collection of Michael Scott brings together over 200 superb pieces, all carefully chosen by Mr. Scott to represent the quality and diversity of crystals and gems, as well as their stunning range of colour. Jewellery pieces, gemstones cut and unset, as well as modern interpretations of gemstones as art are all dazzlingly displayed.

Among the exhibition's highlights:
• A 9000-carat carved quartz sculpture entitled Repose, depicting a nude male youth with a draping of 18 karat gold over his lap.
• A spectacular tiara entitled Queen of Kilimanjaro, featuring the world's largest faceted tanzanite (242 carats) on 18 karat white gold, encircled by 803 rare tsavorite garnets and 913 brilliant-cut diamonds.
• The world's largest faceted benitoite gem, over 15 carats. This extremely rare stone was discovered in 1907 in San Benito County, California and, as it has been found nowhere else in the world, has become that state's official gemstone. Benitoite has the colour of a blue sapphire but the fire and reflective properties of a diamond, and scientists have yet to discover what chemical properties of the gem give it its vivid hue.

“Collecting the world's largest and best examples of gem species has been my passion for almost 25 years,” said Michael Scott, collection owner. “It is my true pleasure to share these exquisite pieces with ROM visitors. I call this exhibition Light & Stone because it's the union of these two opposites that brings gemstones to brilliant life. I hope that ROM visitors feel my same wonder and awe when experiencing the amazing beauty nature creates.”

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