Dear gemstone lovers,
for several years, I have been on good terms with the friends’ association of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian is a US research and education establishment which comprises a number of museums. In the ‘National Gem and Mineral Collection’ at the National Museum of Natural History, visitors can view what is probably the world’s most famous national gemstone collection. Alongside the legendary ‘Hope Diamond’ and the ‘Star of Asia Sapphire’, more than 15,000 gemstones – also including some sparkling specimens from my own establishment – can be seen there.
Last year, when another group of visitors from the Smithsonian came to see me, experience the gemstone region around Idar-Oberstein and taste a little of that ‘Deutsche Vita’, I donated a heron cut in lapis lazuli.
The heron was auctioned at an exclusive Christmas event, the ‘CHRISTMAS AT THE RITZ HOLIDAY LUNCHEON’ in Newport Beach, California. The event was organised by the ‘Women of Chapman’, and the campaign was held for the benefit of Chapman University in Orange County. Lo and behold: the little bird found itself a new home – that of the famous opera singer Milena Kitic.
Maybe it accompanies her to her dressing-room at LA Opera, where she’s currently playing the part of Albine in ‘Thaïs’. Who knows?