1986 January 16 - 1986
"Brazilian Princess" was an exhibition featuring the world's largest cut gem, a topaz weighing more than 21,000 carats. The nine-and-one-half pound topaz, the size of an automobile headlight, was a gift from an anonymous donor. The topaz crystal was discovered in the mountains of eastern Brazil in the 1950's. It was then purchased by gem dealer Edward Swoboda who brought it to the United States. In the mid-1970's the rough crystal was turned over to Pala Properties International, a mineral and gem firm in Failbrook, California where it was cut and polished. The gemstone was on view indefinitely in the Roosevelt Rotunda of the American Museum of Natural History starting January 16, 1986.
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