The Gem Room

Some artists carve into gemstones as their artistic medium. As part of the Brain Scoop Fossils and Geology playlist, the Field Museum opens the vault to share amazing gems, including some that people carved. From a solid gold purse to a necklace worth a quarter of a million dollars, it highlights the details of each piece. It also explains why some pieces are more valuable when their chemical compositions are the same.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Debate the best uses for rare gems: public display (museum), private display (jewelry), safe keeping (vault), etc.
  • Assign pupils to pick their favorite pieces from the video and find out their current value 
Classroom Considerations

  • Best fits when studying gems, crystals, or rarity

  • Connects science, art, and economics
  • Provides closed captioning in six languages

  • None