News center
Our products are the epitome of quality and performance.

4,000 Pounds of Crystal Mined in Arkansas Are Now in NYC

Aug 10, 2023

Thanks to David Yurman, the American Museum of Natural History has opened a new exhibit of sparkling quartz crystals.

When construction was underway on the American Museum of Natural History's new (and now open) Gilder Center, a soaring and sculptural wing dedicated to science, learning, exhibitions, and immersive experiences, there was discussion about how best to connect it to the rest of the NYC institution's buildings. The answer? Rock crystals (also known as clear quartz)—4,000 pounds of them, to be exact.

Which actually makes sense. The Gilder Center begins where the AMNH's 11,000-square-foot Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals—with its 5,000-specimen collection of geological treasures, from massive amethyst geodes and shimmering labradorite slabs to the Star of India sapphire and the Patricia Emerald—ends. Plus, what better way to christen a new space than with crystals famous among a certain woo woo set for their healing and purifying powers?

And with excellent provenance too. Every single piece of rock crystal comes from Arkansas, home of the best quartz mines in the world. And each one was handpicked by NYC jewelry royalty: the Yurmans (David, Sybil, and their son Evan), who partnered with the museum on the project. The inspiration for the 19-foot-long sculpture, now known as the Yurman Family Crystalline Pass, came from a 70-foot naturally occurring vein of quartz found in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas (to get a sense of its size, the museum's famous blue whale also measures 70 feet). "It just caught my imagination," says George Harlow, the museum's curator emeritus in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science. "Nature does this."

It took 4,000 pounds of painstakingly excavated crystals, including one 1,300-lb. slab, to faithfully recreate that Arkansas vein (not to mention having it sculpted in sandstone and then broken down into pieces to be installed in the museum). The final result is a glimmering ode to earth's raw beauty. "They’re natural, just pulled from the earth, cleaned up," David Yurman says. "As you walk in it’s just spectacular.”

Leena Kim is an editor at Town & Country, where she covers travel, jewelry, education, weddings, and culture.

5 Things to Know About Nicholas Galitzine

21 Fictional Female Presidents in Film & TV

5 Things to Know About Taylor Zakhar Perez

Sofia Coppola On Her Daughter Romy's Viral TikTok

Dune: Part Two Is Coming Out in 2024

Will There Be An Our Flag Means Death Season 2

The Crown Will Return for a 6th Season

The Morning Show Season 3 News

And Just Like That... Season 2 Guide

'Yellowstone' Fans Are Supporting Cole Hauser

Recapping Samantha's Return to And Just Like That

Alone in a Room with Rothko