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 Post subject: How to feel inadequate
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:19 pm 
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:48 pm
Posts: 667
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Well, as a follow-on to my little road trip a week or so ago, I went to Istanbul for a very short trip this past weekend. And of course I had to go see the Topkapi Palace and their Treasury display.

What I saw fried my head. Badly.

We're talking IMMENSE intense green emeralds of clarity that you don't see outside of synthetics... and by IMMENSE I mean at least the size of egg yolks and in some cases the size of a small hen's egg! Free-form cabs, and whole tumbled crystals that still have a vague hex-cylindrical shape to them, ranging in size up to 29.5 grams. Yes, GRAMS! The tumbled crystals were mixed in a quartz dish containing dozens of them mixed in with light green "chrysolites" which I'm guessing were Peridot due to their colour (slightly yellow-olive green).

Add in a multitude of large matched and intense rubies the size of walnuts and larger, an 86 ct pear-shaped diamond that is at least the size of an unshelled almond, and then bucketfuls of turquoise, ruby and emerald cabs crusted all over water pitchers, swords, scabbards, chairs, and gold-covered couches... Did I mention jade and large red spinels?? And large in this case means high-domed sugar-loaf cabs 10-20 mm square.

The shame is that photos are not allowed. And being a nice rule-abiding Canadian I didn't attempt to take any, despite being sorely tempted. Only to note near the end of my tour through the Treasury that pretty much everyone was taking photos with phones or point-and-shoots and no one was paying any attention. *sigh*

A quick search in Google found some pics to share. The quality of most of the photos does not do justice to the gems being shown, but will give you an idea.

Edit: Here's some better pics on Photobucket:

I was thinking to myself what I'd do if I ever had an emerald even a quarter the size of some I saw. I think I'd just sit and stare at it, wondering what to do. I couldn't possibly cut it knowing the losses it would suffer.

My mind is still fried thinking about it. I spent an hour or so looking at these treasures before I had to leave. The sheer volume of gems was making me queasy.

I gotta stop doing trips like that. It's going to make me either become a jewel thief or just insane. :D


Allan Aoyama <- Omnifaceter is back online!

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