ONE of the world’s most colourful and flawless large gemstones, the Ostro stone, will go on permanent show in the British Natural History Museum’s Minerals gallery from October 19.
The gemstone weighs in at an impressive 9,381 carats - around 2 kilograms, similar in weight to two bags of sugar. It is the first large cut topaz of its kind to go on display at the Museum and will go on show alongside specimens from one of the world’s most important mineral collections.
The Ostro stone will be available for the public to view at the Museum through a long term loan from philanthropist Maurice Ostro OBE. It has been in the family vaults for three decades since it was discovered in its natural form by his father gemstone pioneer Max Ostro in Minas Gerais, Brazil. It is 15 centimetres in length, 10.5 centimetres wide and its vivid blue colour is exceptional as the various treatment procedures are commonly used for such stones and rarely result in such an intense blue.
Mike Rumsey, Senior Curator of the Minerals Collection at the Natural History Museum says:
"This stone is an excellent example of how as humans, we have crafted beautiful and desirable objects from the natural mineral specimens we find around us, like those that we preserve in the collections at Museum. It will be on display alongside some of our world leading collection of minerals and gems, which is studied by scientists here to find new sources of minerals, gemstones and metals."
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Picture Credit: Andi Campbell-Jones 91333108@N02/15966811838 British Natural History Museum via photopin.com