Current Exhibit

Ivory Carving

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Photo: Kevin Schumacher, Courtesy of Ted and Corky Grussing

Exhibit Description

This ivory piece, carved in mainland China circa 1935, depicts the myth of the Dragon King’s Daughter, who is meeting her lover, a young scholar attended by a young girl with a lantern. The princess is surrounded by a column of swirling clouds from which four dragons emerge. The summit supports an intricately carved sphere representing the heavens, which is comprised of 38 concentric layers. This piece took three years to carve – two years for the sphere and one for the pedestal. 

This sculpture was created before the treaty banning trade in elephant ivory was enacted in the mid-1970s. GIA helps to uphold the ivory trade ban, using this carving as an educational tool to train gemology students and others, including law enforcement officers, to distinguish between natural ivory and its imitations.

Self-guided audio tours of this exhibit are available to Carlsbad visitors.

GIA Museum


GIA’s Museum introduces visitors to the vast and vibrant world of gems and jewelry. Exhibits showcase the science and beauty of gems and minerals, along with expertly designed and crafted jewelry.

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Contact the GIA Museum

The GIA Museum is located at:
World Headquarters and The Robert Mouawad Campus
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008

To schedule an individual or group tour, please email or call:
+1 800 421 7250, ext. 4116
+1 760 603 4116

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