Natural History Museum London, Fluorescent diamonds display
Last time I visited London’s Natural History museum I was 5 and far more interested with dinosaurs than I was fluorescent diamonds, but 20 years or so have passed since then and my priorities have changed. The Natural History Museum is probably one of the most visited museums in the world and is certainly an interesting place for jewellers and gem lovers. There are samples of almost every mineral known to man and specimens of these minerals from various locations around the world.
A reasonably recent addition to the Mineral room is the ‘The Vault’ , aptly named as it contains some very valuable mineral samples and faceted gemstone’s as well as an amazing display of naturally coloured and in some cases fluorescent diamonds.
Florescence is an entirely natural property of around a third of diamonds but you will rarely hear jewellers talk about it and designers largely ignore it in jewellery design. Even if you own and wear a lot of diamonds you could be unaware that some of them are fluorescent.
We took this video of the display where you can see that, as the normal lights dim and the black light comes on the diamonds begin to fluoresces. The different colours of fluorescence are well represented here, particularly blue which is the most common colour. You can also see Green fluorescence, purple, yellow and light orange although intense red fluorescence which is incredibly rare, is not represented.
As well as the impressive fluorescent and coloured diamond display there are huge crystal samples and faceted gemstones like this watermelon Tourmaline below. If your interested in jewellery, gemstones or minerals this place is defiantly worth a look as are the other gemstone displays in the ‘Earth’s treasure’ section of the museum. Here they have some exceptional examples of faceted coloured gemstones some of which you’ll be familiar with because they are used in jewellery but others you wont have heard of. Normally because they are so rare and valuable they aren’t commonly used in jewellery or they are too soft and brittle to be worn about your person.
We use fluorescent diamonds in our jewellery design and use them along side non-fluorescent diamonds and other gemstones to create jewellery with a hidden message. The message is only apparent when the piece is exposed to UV light, uncovering what was always there but never seen.
Our first collection focuses on the theme of a hidden evil, a malevolent intent, menace that is masked by a beautiful form.