The Gemological Institute of America Museum is launching a new campaign to build the “GIA Historical Collection,” a comprehensive assemblage of jewelry, object d’arts and gemstones from all time periods and cultures world-wide.
“We intend to create a wide-ranging, world-class collection that captures the essence of each period in gem and jewelry history," said Elise Misiorowski, GIA Museum director. "People are always fascinated by historical pieces. It’s our goal to bring together a variety of significant treasures representing different episodes in history.”
“Jewelry is like a time capsule,” adds Misiorowski. “It can tell you about the economics, social structure, and technology of the culture it came from. Jewelry preserves this information in a very concentrated way. It’s like a Rosetta stone; if you know how to read it, you can interpret the socio-economic climate of the period.
Misiorowski also noted, “Gems also have their own individual story to tell. Their sources, significant owners, and other details give them their own personality and place in history.”
The Institute hopes to not only increase the number of pieces in its collection, but acquire examples from many different eras as well. The Institute anticipates this collection will quickly become an important addition to the museum because donors, visitors and students alike will benefit from sharing the stories of these intriguing pieces.
The GIA Museum plans to use the Historical Collection for display in other venues on a regular basis, accompanied by lecturers and experts, and pieces from the collection will be showcased further via podcasts and other educational vehicles. Misiorowski said “We hope the GIA Historical Collection will grow to inspire, educate and excite viewers today and for generations to come.”
In addition, the GIA Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center will archive any accompanying documents for donated pieces that detail the item’s background and provenance in its Cartier Rare Book Repository and Archives.