Museum Cut Cerussite gem, 896 cararts, from Tsumeb, Namibia

The Light of the Desert is a cerussite gem in the Royal Ontario Museum's collection. It is the world’s largest faceted example of cerussite. The raw cerussite was discovered in Tsumeb in northern Namibia and acquired by a gem cutter from Arizona who then cut the raw material into the gem on display.

The cutting and transport of this gem is a delicate business as cerussite is extremely fragile and sensitive to changes in temperature changes and vibration. After it was cut in Arizona, the gem was placed in a box, then wrapped in a large woolen scarf and a winter vest, and then hand transported to Toronto for display.

Cerussite is known for its dispersion (or fire). Dispersion is the amount of light a gem will pass through the colour spectrum.

Cerussite is one of the only gems with adamantine (diamond-like) luster.

Light of the Desert is the largest faceted cerussite gem in the world.

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