What a gem: Cork jeweller to donate precious stones to National Museum

Jeweller Michael Wall has come up with a gem of an idea to donate a sizeable number of precious stones to the National Museum of Ireland.

What a gem: Cork jeweller to donate precious stones to National Museum

Wall, a supplier of luxury bespoke jewellery, is donating a 2,020 carat sapphire, a 2,250 carat Brazilian Emerald, and a whopping 3,070 carat African ruby as part of the huge collection he is offering.

The collection also includes beryl, amethyst, tanzanite, fluorite and labradorite specimens.

In all, he is donating 13,000 carats to the museum. The donation will take place over the next few months, with some of the collection being handed over to Nigel Monaghan, keeper of Natural History, and assistant keeper Dr Matthew Parkes later this month.

With fond memories of visiting the museum as a child, Wall hopes that his collection will entice more people to visit the institution and encourage it to take some of its collection to a wider audience, outside of Dublin.

“Dr Parkes is a working keeper and likes to take exhibits out to the public, which is fantastic. The fact the gems are sizeable and can be handled will be quite good for the museum,” said Wall.

He has been in the gem broking business in Cork for the past five years and has a number of good, regular customers who rely on his expertise to source good quality stones, especially diamonds.

“A diamond is still forever,” he says, “moreso the coloured stones nowadays and the unique cuts. Favourite colours are champagne, cognac, pinks and greys. They are all highly prized.

“Precious stones come in all colours. Emeralds are not just green, sapphires are not always blue and diamonds are not always white, although a clear white diamond is still the most popular.”

When it comes to gems, size doesn’t matter, said Wall.

“It’s all about the cut,” he said. “People are more inclined to want the perfect cut. A well-cut stone is all important, far moreso than its size.”

So, does he feel a tad nostalgic parting with his precious collection?

“Yes, of course,” said Wall, “but as Elizabeth Taylor used to say, you never really own a diamond; you are merely the custodian.”

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