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Seen Fifth Annual Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show

Monday, November 25, 2002

By Marylynn Uricchio, Post-Gazette SEEN Editor

Guests who followed the yellow brick road to the Emerald City Thursday night had to walk past a live Wizard of Oz, whose visage was projected above the entrance to the Carnegie Music Hall foyer.

Marilyn Donnelly and Marjorie Smuts browse on their way to viewing Thomas Richard McPhee's "1492," a $1.5-million statue that contains the world's largest carved emerald (1,550 carats) and 50 carats of diamonds. (Joyce Mendelsohn, Post-Gazette)

Inside were the emerald highlights of the Fifth Annual Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show, presented by PNC for the enjoyment of all sorts of collectors. From fabulous gem stones and jewelry to raw rocks, the show offered an astounding assortment of natural beauties enhanced or not by the hand of man.

This year's preview party, the only large benefit held by the Museum of Natural History, was chaired by its section of minerals head, Marc Wilson. He got a major assist from party planner Dee Weinberg, who concocted the Oz theme that featured costumed characters, film clips, sparkling green linens and sundry touches of whimsy. More than 350 guests sipped cocktails and grazed the buffet between bouts of browsing and buying. Among the must-sees were $4 million in emerald jewelry found in the Spanish galleon Atocha (shipwrecked in 1622), along with the world's largest carved emerald (1,550 carats), a spectacular Columbia emerald necklace loaned by the Ronald Ringsrud Company, and a rare red emerald bracelet from Moses Jewelers in Butler.

With so much to see and do, the preview party remains a relaxed night that draws a somewhat different crowd. Men in the mood for minerals and the ladies who love unusual jewelry mingled with staunch Natural History Museum supporters like its director, Bill DeWalt, board chair Jack Barbour with Lisa, Carnegie Museums president Ellsworth Brown with Dorothy, Lee and Issie Foster, Tom and Dr. Theresa Nimick, Tim and Audrey Hillman Fisher, Sara Scaife, Vicky Lee and Otto Chu, Carolyn Byham, Gordon and Kenny Nelson, Gishie and Art Scully, Ann and Ron Wertz, Jean and Brooks Robinson and Alexandra and Brooks Robinson Jr., Ranny and Jay Ferguson, Margaret Cyert, the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum's Kim Fisher, Heather and Peter Austin, Mia and Joel Bernard, Jody Stein, Connie Bolanis, Ed and Sandi Chmelovsky, Dick and Sandy Ekstrom, Hilda Fu, Joan and Phil Gulley, Jim and Mary Jo Winokur, Marilyn Donnelly, Marjorie Smuts, Suzanne Mauro and Josh Stanson, Mary McVay and son Tim McVay and Kenny Goldsmith with mother Lillian.

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