Museum and Auction Roundup: 5 Must-See Jewelry Exhibits

Do you live near New York City or Los Angeles? Or are you planning a trip to one of these cities over the holidays? Consider expanding your jewelry knowledge (or just surrounding yourself in beautiful baubles) at one of these fascinating museum or auction house exhibits. Be sure to check their websites for days and hours of operation. Enjoy!


“The Jewelry of Alexandre Reza”

This collection of some of the world’s rarest gemstones will travel to Sotheby’s auction houses in London, Doha and Beijing in 2014. The first stop is Sotheby’s New York, from November 2 to 14. Paris-based Reza has specialized in rare gems since the 1950s. David Bennett, the Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, said, “Alexandre Reza’s legacy forms an integral and important part of the history of post-war jewelry.”

“Jewels by JAR”

An exhibition of the works from Parisian jewelry house JAR will begin at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 20 and run through March 9. The first retrospective of JAR’s work in America, it will feature more than 300 pieces, including many studded with precious and semi-precious gems. New York-born Joel A. Rosenthal, aka JAR, opened his salon in 1978 on the Place Vendôme. High-profile fans have included Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Walters, Ann Getty and Ellen Barkin. Diane von Furstenberg has called him “the Fabergé of our time.”

“The Lady Heart Diamond Collection”

This exhibit of Fancy Color Diamonds is so popular the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has extended its run until November 30. The collection features five Natural Color Diamonds in red, pink, orange, yellow and blue, all in rare heart-shape cuts. Ranging from 1.71 carats to 2.28 carats, the stones are set in separate pieces of gold jewelry, custom designed for this exhibition.

“Fashion Jewelry: The Barbara Berger Collection”

This major show at the Museum of Art and Design in New York features over 450 pieces of fashion jewelry by designers such as Miriam Haskell, Marcel Boucher, Balenciaga, and Kenneth Jay Lane — all from the world-renowned collection of Barbara Berger. The daughter of an American diamond merchant, Berger was a teenager when she bought her first pair of Chanel earrings at a French flea market. She went on to assemble some 4,000 “bijoux de couture,” one of the finest collections of couture jewelry in the world. The exhibit runs until January 14, 2014, but a portion closes September 22…so don’t delay if you want to see this one in all its glory.

“The Kimberley Diamond”

The American Museum of Natural History in New York will display the 55.08-carat, emerald-cut Kimberley Diamond in its Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems through June 2014. This champagne-colored diamond was cut from a 490-carat piece of rough discovered at South Africa’s Kimberley Mine before 1868. Originally cut in 1921, it was recut in 1958 to increase its brilliance. In the process the stone lost some weight — 14.92 carats to be exact!  Don’t miss it.


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