The Aurora Butterfly of Peace diamond collection is an artwork consisting of 240 natural, fancy colored diamonds weighing a combined total of 167 carats (33.4 g). This butterfly-shaped diamond mosaic was created over a period of twelve years by Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman. The Aurora Butterfly of Peace was conceived as an eternal icon of love, beauty, energy, nature and peace.
From November 2004 until July 2005, the Butterfly of Peace was exhibited in the National Gem Collection Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
A smaller version of the Butterfly of Peace was displayed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science from June 1994 to March 1996. The Aurora Butterfly of Peace was on display from May to July 2008 at the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), to help launch “The Facets of the GIA” exhibit, which showcases the prominent role of the Institute in the world of gemology.
Two research studies involving the Butterfly of Peace have resulted in new scientific breakthroughs about fluorescence and phosphorescence in colored diamonds. The phenomena of fluorescence can be seen as a skeletal pattern of glowing colors when the diamonds are exposed to ultraviolet light. Some of the diamonds in the design include purples from Russia, blues and oranges from South Africa, lime greens from Brazil, violets and dozens of pinks from the Argyle Mine in Australia.
Aurora Pyramid of Hope
The Aurora Pyramid of Hope is a collection of 296 natural diamonds in a wide variety of colors, billed as “the most comprehensive natural color diamond collection in the world”. It is owned by Aurora Gems, Inc., a diamond merchant specializing in fancy color diamonds. The collection has been displayed on loan in a pyramid-shaped display case in various major museums since 1998. Aurora Gems was founded by Harry Rodman (1909–2008) a gold refiner from the Bronx, and Alan Bronstein, a diamond dealer from New Jersey, who began collecting colored diamonds in 1979. After Rodman’s death, ownership of the collection became the subject of a dispute between Bronstein and Rodman’s heirs, including Rodman’s wife, who was also Bronstein’s mother.
The original 260-gem collection was on public display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City from 1989 to 2005 in the Morgan Hall of Gems. It was the centerpiece for the museum’s 1998 exhibition The Nature of Diamonds which toured Japan, Canada and the U.S. In 2005 the collection moved to the Natural History Museum of London. At that time 36 new specimens were added to the original 260 diamonds, for a total weight of 267.45 carats (53.490 g).