While dinosaurs can often attract the lion's share, or, er, dinosaur's share of attention for the Natural History Museum -- including the baby T. Rex who recently took the day off from the popular stage show "Walking with Dinosaurs" to visit the Exposition Park institution -- other things inhabit those hallowed halls which also have a few years on them.
A few years? Make that millenia.
Take the Gem Vault, which is home to some sparklers of notable fame and age. It's about to get a visitor of some note, an internally flawless diamond so unusual and rare that it wears the memorable handle of Blue Moon Diamond.
The cushion-cut Blue Moon goes on display in the museum's gem hall on Saturday, Sept. 13. There it shall stay, and mystify, through Jan. 6.
Well, "mystify" is pure poetry, given that visitors will learn an awful lot about the treasure. The Gemological Society of America "has made a monograph of the Blue Moon Diamond" which reveals "a holistic perspective of its character and significance." It's a 12-carat Fancy Blue Diamond cut from 29.6-carat rough.
As its known history? It was discovered in 1905 in a mine near Pretoria, South Africa.
The Blue Moon Diamond is so named for its flawless hue, but also the highly unlikely, headlines-making chance of finding such a gem.
"This special exhibit fits within the Museum's mission to enhance discovery of the natural world through furthering the future of diamond research. Blue diamonds are among the rarest of all natural colored diamonds," says Eloise Gaillou, the museum's curator and diamond expert.
"The exhibit will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to see one of the world's most exquisite diamonds in person."
The Blue Moon Diamond can be viewed by purchasing museum admission.