The Aurora Butterfly of Peace

It took 12 years for Alan Bronstein and Harry Rodman to assemble the Aurora Butterfly of Peace, but their efforts were well worth it. The 240-stone piece features a rainbow of colored diamonds in a variety of shades and cuts forming the shape of a butterfly.

Natural colored diamonds are already a rare find, but to see them compiled into such an intricate and awe-inspiring design is especially unusual. Now, the unique private collection is on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County through June 3, giving visitors a chance to behold this breathtaking work of art for themselves.

The Aurora Butterfly of PeaceThe Aurora Butterfly of Peace
Image via GIA

Beauty in diversity

According to the Gemological Institute of America, the diamonds in the Aurora Butterfly of Peace total an astounding 167 carats. These stones come from locations all around the world and boast a wide range of stunning hues as well. This includes pink diamonds unearthed at the Argyle mine in Australia, purple diamonds from Russia, lime green diamonds found in Brazil and both blue and orange diamonds sourced from South Africa. In a way, this reflects the overall message of the Aurora Butterfly: diversity.

On the Aurora Gems site, Bronstein and Rodman dedicated the butterfly to "the dissemination of peace and harmony among all men, religions and races."

Still, the creators also had other objectives in mind while putting the butterfly together one stone at a time. According to JCK magazine, Bronstein, a New York City-based colored diamond expert, carefully chose each diamond under the mentorship of Rodman. While the original piece only contained 60 stones, the duo sought to create a more lively and colorful piece, and thus continued to build on its composition.

According to Aurora Gems, Bronstein sought to shift the traditional link between diamonds and mankind from love or marriage to nature's beauty. The Aurora Butterfly of Peace was unveiled at the Natural History Museum on Dec. 4. of last year, but before that, it was exhibited at The Smithsonian, The GIA Museum, The American Museum of Natural History, and The Royal Ontario Museum.

Unique qualities

Eloïse Gaillou, associate curator for the Natural History Museum of L.A. County, wrote about the visual power of the butterfly in a blog for the Natural Color Diamond Association, explaining that when you look at it, "peace definitely surrounds you." He also admitted that upon receiving the butterfly, his heartbeat accelerated, explaining that no photo can quite do the collection justice. One of the most miraculous aspects of the Aurora Butterfly collection is how it looks under ultraviolet light. JCK magazine noted that under UV exposure, many of the diamonds show remarkable fluorescence. Not only did the creators achieve impressive symmetry in the colors on each wing, but they also managed to match the fluorescence on each side as well.

"Viewing the Aurora Butterfly of Peace will be extraordinary, not only because the collection itself is so splendid, but also because the lighting will change from natural light to ultraviolet light at regular intervals to demonstrate how the diamonds appear under different lighting conditions," said Elise Misiorowski, GIA Museum director, as quoted by Aurora Gems.

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