Tucson Gem & Mineral Museum Exhibits One-of-a Kind Gold and Gemstone Tapestry

Tucson, Ariz. – Ever dream of a magic carpet ride like on a popular animated children’s movie and Broadway musical? Join Somewhere In The Rainbow at the University of Arizona Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum to view and experience a once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind, gold and gemstone piece in the world: The Royal Tapestry.

Hand-crafted in Paris, France in the 1980s as a commission for a royal family, the tapestry took more than 16,000-man hours to complete. It was created by master artisans at Christofle, a goldsmith company founded in Paris in 1830.

Weighing at over 40 pounds of 18 karat yellow gold and gemstones, the tapestry includes 26,649 high-quality, glittering rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and golden, pink, and blue sapphires. More than 100,000 hand-fabricated gold prongs secure the gemstones snugly into the tapestry’s foundation.

Attempts to duplicate the sourcing, cutting, and matching of these gemstones today would be nearly impossible. The Royal Tapestry is not only beautiful, but it is a terrific piece to study the complexity of gemstone cutting, matching, and setting.

The Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum is the first museum in the United States to exhibit The Royal Tapestry. On exhibit for mere days in Europe and Asia, this is the first long-term, public engagement in the world. Museum and University staff are honored to share this magical experience with museum guests for a limited time. You won’t want to miss seeing this masterpiece graciously on loan to the museum from a private collector.

Located in the newly renovated former Pima County Courthouse at 115 N. Church Street in Tucson, Arizona, the Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm with final ticket sales each day at 3:00pm. Masks are required per the University of Arizona and Pima County guidelines. Visit www.gemandmineralmuseum.arizona.edu for more information and to plan your visit.

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