Quite honestly, I thought the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History would be boring. I only went because of the dinosaur bones that I thought might hold the interest of my dinosaur-smitten toddler.
He could have cared less.
But the girls and I fell in love with the gemstone collection. We saw the diamond necklace given to Marie Louise by Napoleon Bonaparte after the birth of their son:Though the bluish hope diamond was grand, I much prefer the pure blue of this mammoth 423 carat Logan Sapphire:
And rubies (which, by the way, are really sapphires; but since they are red, we call them rubies)--all 31 for a total of 60 carats--are gorgeous:
The twins didn't know their birthstone is so lovely. My birthstone is an amethyst, which the museum had plenty of in various displays, including this monster from Brazil:
Though all the gemstones were absolutely breathtaking, my favorite piece was this crown also given to Marie Louise by Napoleon. Apparently when Marie Louise wore it, it held 950 diamonds and 79 emeralds. The emeralds were sold and eventually replaced with Persian turquoises:
Who knew history could be so beautiful?