Gem-Filled Brooch Joins Smithsonian | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Gem-Filled Brooch Joins Smithsonian

Play associated audio

The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History has an addition to its famous gem collection: a brooch made of 2,300 gems.

The "Royal Butterfly Brooch" was created in 2009 by Taiwanese jewelry artist Cindy Chao. She donated the piece to the museum, making it the first Taiwanese-designed item in the National Gem Collection.

The brooch is composed of 2,328 gems, totaling 77 carats. It includes colored and color-changing sapphires and diamonds, and rubies. The centerpieces of the butterfly's wings are four large-faceted diamond slices.

Curators say it sparkles in daylight, but under ultraviolet light in the dark, it glows. Chao put its value at $680,000.

The butterfly joins the Hope Diamond and Marie Antoinette earrings currently on display.

WAMU 88.5

Key Civil War Generals The Subject Of New Smithsonian Exhibit

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery focuses on Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.
NPR

Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender?

The California chicken producer has been dogged by food safety problems at its plants for months. But Foster Farms may also now be one of the country's cleanest, safest sources of chicken products.
NPR

Congress Has The Ability To Fix Immigration Crisis, Obama Says

His remarks in Dallas followed a meeting with faith leaders and local officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to discuss the large number of unaccompanied minors at the border.
NPR

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

Is a burrito a sandwich? The answer may sound simple to you ... but the question gets at the very heart of a tension that's existed for ages.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.