Attached to the rocks and minerals is the gem display, which includes the Hope Diamond, the world's largest blue diamond. Perhaps it is my bias as an earth scientist, but the cut gem display was a huge letdown after the minerals exhibit. Diamonds are interesting minerals, and are good for jewelry, but are not even in the top 10 of Thermochronic's most beautiful and interesting mineral list. Please excuse the blurriness of some of these pictures, the lighting isn't the best in the museum, and I don't own a tripod [yet].
Incidentally, I also had a chance to do my version of geology recruiting. Like all of D.C., the museum was packed with bajillions of middle and high schoolers on field trips. When I was in a crown at the more popular exhibits, I made sure to say things like "Wow, this is amazing, I think when I get to college I am going to take a geology class," or "Looks like being a seismologist would be a great job!" This made Mrs. Apparent-dip-but-with-a-different-last-name laugh, which is always good, but I am sure I also inspired dozens of young earth scientists to think of new careers.