Lester & Sue Smith Gem Vault

Permanent Collection
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*Please note – the Lester & Sue Smith Gem Vault is closed for renovations. 

The Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault, the permanent exhibit hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, completes the story begun by the now world-renowned Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals.

In selecting many of the objects for inclusion in the Gem Vault, the Museum’s curators used their extensive connections in the mineralogical world to acquire mineral “cutting rough” of precious gemstones freshly extracted from mines around the world. The Museum could thus have these very best natural stones cut to its exact specifications into faceted gems of exact specifications, then crafted into original works under the skilled hands of jewelry designers, including Ernesto Moreira.

Made possible through the generous support of The Smith Foundation.

 

Curator: Joel A. Bartsch

Native Texan and longtime Houstonian, Joel Bartsch was first hired as a security guard at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 1984, and was appointed President & CEO of the Museum in 2004. His previous years of service at the Museum included his position as Curator of the Cullen….


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