Switzer, George

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Switzer, George Gender: M
George Shirley Switzer
born on 11 June 1915 at 05:00 (= 05:00 AM )
Place Petaluma, California, 38n14, 122w38
Timezone PST h8w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 19°31' s_mo.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 05°53 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 21°37'

George Switzer (The Hope Diamond, which Switzer helped to acquire for the Smithsonian from Harry Winston in 1958)
photo: David Bjorgen, license gfdl


American mineralogist credited with starting the Smithsonian Institution's famed National Gem and Mineral Collection by acquiring the Hope Diamond for the museum in 1958. Switzer made the arrangements when renowned New York City jeweler Harry Winston decided to donate the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian.

Switzer was also known for his analysis of moon rocks which were brought back by NASA missions to the Moon. He authored a textbook on gemology in 1979.

Switzer retired from the Smithsonian in 1975 as the curator emeritus. He used his retirement to pursue his hobby, azalea propagation. His hobby became a serious occupation when he served as the director of the Azalea Society of America and became assistant editor of the Azalean publication. He was credited with describing and naming a new variety of azalea cultivar, Nannie Angell, in 1992.

George Switzer died from pneumonia in Solomons, Maryland at the age of 93 on 23 March 2008.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Work : Great Achievement 1942 (PhD in mineralogy, Harvard)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield provided birth certificate.


  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (PhD in mineralogy)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Pneumonia
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 93)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (University professor)
  • Vocation : Science : Geology (Mineralogist)
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction (Gemology)