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TITLE: The National Gem Collection

[Photo: Gems and Minerals Hall]

More than 7,500 individual gemstones, ranging from less than a half-carat to almost 23,000 carats, fill the cases in this gallery. Like all precious gems, each was cut from a mineral crystal that grew naturally within the Earth. The National Gem Collection totals more than 10,000 specimens and is considered one of the world's finest. Virtually all of the pieces are gifts from individuals. The gems now belong to the people of the United States.


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