The World’s Largest-Faceted Alexandrite

The Smithsonian Alexandrite was unearthed in Sri Lanka, and holds a cushion mixed cut. Typical of most alexandrite, the Smithsonian jewel is red and green in color, and weighs 65.08 carats. It is currently one of the rarest, and most valuable, jewels in the world. Its status as the world’s largest alexandrite, however, is very […]

Pearl Harbors

During the long history of pearls, the principal oyster beds lay in the Persian Gulf, along the coasts of India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and in the Red Sea. Chinese pearls came mainly from freshwater rivers and ponds, whereas Japanese pearls were found near the coast in salt water. Nearly all the pearls in […]

Japan’s Rabbit Island: A Dark History

There is an island where rabbits rule. They are well fed, free from predators, and spend their time lounging around getting photographed by fawning humans. So where is this bunny paradise? It’s a small island in the Seto Inland Sea called Ōkunoshima, two miles off the coast of the Japanese city of Takehara, in Hiroshima Prefecture. These […]