Smithsonian Acquires Zoltan David’s Moonstone Necklace
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History has made another gem acquisition. Austin, Texas-based jewelry designer Zoltan David donated an award-winning moonstone pendant to the Washington, D.C. museum. The “Iris” necklace is centered on a 35.63-carat marquise-cut cat’s eye white moonstone from India. There also are 35 round cabochon blue moonstones in the necklace, each weighing 0.50 carats, and 164 ideal-cut diamonds weighing 1.20 carats total, ranging from D to F in color and VVS to internally flawless in clarity.
The necklace is set in platinum and bronze with a blue patina in a process called “shaped inlay,” an invention patented by David. During the process, pure platinum is inlaid into the blue bronze both in the pendant and on each round link of the necklace, with the inlaid platinum then hand-engraved and formed into spheres. The reverse side of the pendant, meanwhile, has a palladium back plate that is engraved with the following: “By the light of a silvery moon, an ocean of life awaits your magical touch.”
Goldsmith Brian Kruppenbacher also had a hand in the creation of Iris, which took 225 hours to complete. It will be the centerpiece of the museum’s feldspar exhibit, opening in 2018, according to a press release from the designer. The museum did not respond to a request confirming this information by press time. Iris won Platinum Honors in the Classic category of last summer’s American Gem Trade Association Spectrum awards.
David’s family history in Hungary dates back to the reign of Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary from 1000 AD until his death in 1038 AD, and it’s this family past that the designer has said plays a great part in his creations. “I’m truly honored to have my work permanently displayed in the Smithsonian, to become a part of American culture and to represent the great state of Texas and the city of Austin beside the renowned jewelry houses of New York and Paris,” David said.