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Episode Info:

Mineralogist Jeff Post has a one-of-a-kind job: he’s curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection, a collection of over 375,000 rock and mineral specimens housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. In addition to spectacular specimens of rare minerals and crystals, the collection contains over 10,000 gemstones, including the infamous Hope Diamond, one of the most valuable objects on planet Earth.

In this episode, Jeff takes Third Pod producers on a tour of the vault, where the collection’s most valuable and rare specimens are kept. Jeff shows us a 266-carat diamond; 12 ounces of pure gold; a nugget of osmium, the densest known metal; and countless rare gemstones, including a smoky quartz the size of a newborn baby. Jeff also tells us about the largest diamond ever found and the story of a diamond necklace given by Napoleon to his wife, Empress Marie Louise, to celebrate the birth of their first son.

This is the second episode in a two-part series. Be sure to check out the previous episode to hear about the history of the Hope Diamond.

This episode was produced by Lauren Lipuma and mixed by Kayla Surrey.

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