SIA RU104101, World's Columbian Exposition (1893 : Chicago, Ill.), SIA RU104101, Kunz, George Frederick 1856-1932, George Frederick Kunz Papers, circa 1880-1932 and undated

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These papers provide partial documentation of Kunz's professional career. They consist primarily of correspondence with geologists, mineralogists, gemologists, jewelers, museums, government agencies, and personal acquaintances. The correspondence concerns the identification, acquisition, and sale of gems and mineral specimens; mineralogical research, especially the effects of radiation on the color of gemstones; activities in professional societies; publications; expositions, particularly the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893; his work with Tiffany & Company, the United States Geological Survey and the American Museum of Natural History; and personal matters. Also included is an address book kept by Kunz on a trip to Europe in 1881, statistics on American mining compiled by Kunz, manuscripts, and a few photographs. NOTE: These papers are located in the National Museum of Natural History, Department of Mineral Sciences.


  • Kunz, George Frederick 1856-1932
  • Geological Survey (U.S.)
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Tiffany and Company


  • George Frederick Kunz (1856-1932) was a mineralogist and an authority on gems. His professional career began in 1879 when he was hired as a gem expert by Tiffany & Company of New York. He was made Vice-President in 1907 and remained with the company until his death. Kunz also served as a special agent for the United States Geological Survey, 1883-1909; worked as an agent at several International Expositions; and made a study of American pearls for the United States Fish Commission, 1892-1898. He was Research Curator of gems and precious stones for the American Museum of Natural History, 1904-1918, and a Research Associate from 1918 until his death. A prolific writer, Kunz produced both popular and scholarly works on gems. In 1903, the gem, Kunzite, was named in his honor.
  • Folder list in control file.



Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1880
  • 1880-1932
  • circa 1880-1932 and undated

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Account books

Local number

SIA RU104101

Physical description

0.3 linear meter

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