Newsletter | Calendar of Events

Calendar of Events

< 2018 >

  • 03

    Special Exhibit: Cameos & Chakras

    All day
    Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
    220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

    Explore two exhibits that focus on meditation.  Italian shell cameos of Christian themes depict the Stations of the Cross and Saints. The Chakra Stones developed from ancient Indian influences and correspond to one’s positive awareness.

    April 14 to September 16, 2018
    Regular Museum Hours and Admission

  • 04

    Closed Independence Day

    All day

    We will be closed Wednesday July 4th in observance of Independence Day. Have a fun and safe 4th of July!

Special Exhibit: Cameos & Chakras

Explore two exhibits that focus on meditation.  Italian shell cameos of Christian themes depict the Stations of the Cross and Saints. The Chakra Stones developed from ancient Indian influences and correspond to one’s positive awareness.

April 14 to September 16, 2018
Regular Museum Hours & Admission

The Origin of Birthstones

Often the first piece of jewelry a child receives is a tiny ring or locket containing his or her birthstone. Have you ever wondered who invented birthstones and why? Birthstones are not a modern concept. In ancient times the Romans, Hebrews, and early Arabs also ascribed significance to certain gems in certain seasons. Various stones were thought to possess a variety of powers that could influence lives.

The origin of birthstones can be traced back to the breastplate of Aaron, High Priest of the Hebrews. In about 1250 B.C., according to the Bible (Exodus 28), God told Moses to fashion a breastplate for his brother Aaron. The breastplate measured roughly nine inches square. It was a folded fabric pouch made from twilled linen woven with threads of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet. The face of the breastplate had four rows of three stones each representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Each stone possessed a special power for the wearer. It was believed certain stones had special abilities for the person who wore them, either by protecting them or bringing them luck. When all the stones were worn together they would make Aaron invincible and protect him from harm.

According to Gemstones of the Bible written by gemologist Percy H. Perkins, Jr. the breastplate may have been adorned by the following gems in this order:

Lapis Lazuli is one of the Biblical stones used in Aaron’s breastplate

Row 1: emerald, peridot, carnelian
Row 2: rock crystal quartz, lapis lazuli, garnet
Row 3: amethyst, agate, zircon
Row 4: jasper, onyx, citrine

Depending on the translation you read, and there are many different translations, these stones may be interpreted differently or found in a different place on the breastplate. All of the stones on the breastplate are believed to have been cut in cabochon form.
In certain translations turquoise is placed as the eighth stone on Aaron’s breastplate. But according to the Jewish Encyclopedia, the eighth stone is translated as sky blue agate. Prior to scientific tests to determine a gem’s composition, biblical names and gem colors were often confused.

Persian turquoise is one of the oldest gems used in jewelry.

One begins to see how the ancient importance of stones and modern translations can vary according to interpretation. However, turquoise was not forgotten, as it became the primary birthstone for December. Bracelets of cast gold and turquoise were found on the 7,500 year old Egyptian mummy of Queen Zer. Excavated in 1900, the bracelets are the oldest known gemstone jewelry.

Astrologers linked gemstones to the twelve signs of the zodiac and believed the stones manifested their greatest influence under their respective signs. However, since the zodiac is not based specifically on the twelve months of the calendar, it proved to be an unwieldy and confusing system for assigning birthstones. Lists of beneficial stones and superstitions were created through the centuries by many cultures and countries which differ from the birthstone rosters.

Bloodstone, also known as heliotrope, was named for the spilling of Christ’s blood on green jasper during the Crucifixion.

Through the years, changes have been made to our list of accepted birthstones resulting in some months having one or two alternate stones, as well as primary stones. Many of the biblical stones still hold a position of primary or alternate stones. In some instances, the changes were made to avoid duplication of colors. We see the green of the new leaves and dew-tipped grass of springtime in May’s emerald; the soft light of the summer moon in June’s pearl; the warm glow of a winter fireplace in January’s garnet.

In 1912 the American National Retail Jewelers Association created an “official” list of birthstones. The American Gem Society and the American Association of Jewelers adopted this list in 1952.

Gems have come to symbolize many occasions. Gems link us to the treasures of the earth. Wearing your birthstone or any gem makes one feel special. Perhaps, that is the true power of gemstones. All of the birthstones and alternates listed in this article are on permanent                                               display at the Museum.

Moonstone is considered a sacred stone in India.

This article was excerpted and re-edited for this newsletter by Dorothy J. Asher from previous Museum articles written by LaVergne Novak and Amanda Hart with source reference from The Gemstones of the Bible by Percy H. Perkins, Jr., G.G., second edition (c) 1981. For more on birthstones including a description on each month’s primary and alternate stones see Lizzadro Museum Publication Winter/Spring 1993.

Gemologist Sakina Bharani will present “What is my Birthstone?” at the Museum on September 22 at 2 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

Experience Chakra Stones



This summer, the Museum presents a special exhibit about chakras and associated healing stones. Chakras are energy points connected to the physical body via energetic layers (subtle bodies) commonly known as the auric field. To better understand this exhibit, the Museum is hosting a lecture and two yoga sessions related to the mystical and metaphysical method of chakras.


On Saturday July 21st and September 8th at 9 a.m., we welcome Ahimsa Yoga-Studios-Elmhurst instructor, JoAnn Concialdi. The sessions are geared for all-levels of yoga ability. Each class will focus on connecting to the energies of the chakras. Classes will be held in the peaceful surroundings of the Museum’s lower level Rock & Mineral Experience and require comfortable clothes and yoga mat. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call the Museum to register.

Ann O’Malley of Healing Touch


Then, on September 8th at 2 p.m., Ann O’Malley, RN, HTCP-1, will present a lecture about chakras used in Healing Touch therapy. Ann is a certified Healing Touch Practitioner-Instructor. She has also received training in Native American Medicine and uses many tools to assist in healing including: hands, drum or rattle, feathers, crystals and spiritual counseling. Ann has incorporated energy-based forms of healing in her private practice for over 20 years. Reservations for the lecture are recommended.

Pick Up Your Passport to Adventure Here!

Summer is a great time to visit the museums in Kane and DuPage Counties. Designed for ages 4 to 12, each site has an activity for children to complete. The Summer Passport program begins on May 1st and ends on Labor Day.

The Lizzadro Museum is a proud participant in the Blue Star Museums. From Memorial through Labor Day, active  military and their families can tour the Museum for free.

Twenty-one years ago the Smithsonian Institution created a national outreach program that would extend the reach of the Smithsonian collections to communities, museums and research organizations across the nation. To fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” Smithsonian Affiliations was created to provide access to Smithsonian collections. The program’s goal was to make sure those who cannot travel to Washington, D.C., could experience and enjoy the Smithsonian in their own neighborhoods.

Today, the program has established partnerships with more than 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. The Lizzadro Museum became an Affiliate member in the fall of 2008. We look forward to bringing an exhibit of Smithsonian Gems this summer.

The exhibit Smithsonian Gems was made possible through the City of Elmhurst’s Explore Elmhurst Community Grant Program. Explore Elmhurst is a marketing campaign developed to further promote community events and activities in Elmhurst to the public.

Lizzadro Museum Move to Oak Brook in 2019


As someone receiving our newsletter, you are either a Museum Member or an individual interested in our programs and exhibits. In the last several months we have had many patrons asking questions about the Museum. Moving, closing, where and why?

As you may or may not know, the Lizzadro Museum will be moving to Oak Brook, expecting to re-open in the fall of 2019. The Museum will remain open in Elmhurst running programs as usual until 2019. As we move along in the process, we will keep you informed of our progress.

For the last several years we have been trying to solve our problem of limited, antiquated space and difficult access for visitors. We worked the the Elmhurst Park District and the City of Elmhurst to try to come up with a better solution. Unfortunately, we were not able to meet the primary goals of everyone involved.

The Museum does not own the land we are currently on. When we vacate this building, it will become the property of the Elmhurst Park District. As the Lizzadro family preserves a private collecting, going to our own land made not only financial sense, but also allows us to have control of our grounds and parking.

The Museum will be moving to 1220 Kensington Road in Oak Brook. The existing 34,000 square foot, two story building sits on 3.1 acres of land at the corner of Jorie Boulevard and Kensington Road. The first floor will house the Museum and the second floor will offer leased office space.

Our current facility is nearly 8,000 square feet with 4,500 square feet of exhibit area.The new building will almost double our existing space and receive a full exterior update, new entrance, drop-off lane, new landscaping and a large patio area with touch pieces. The interior will house a 90-seat lecture hall/multi-purpose room and expanded Museum Shop. Exhibit space will increase to 7,000 square feet with an area for special exhibits, allowing us to improve existing displays and add some new exhibits. Increased office space, a library/conference room and additional storage will be included.

We celebrated our 55th Anniversary last fall and we hope that you will understand our need for change. We truly appreciate the support of our Members, interested individuals and families. While we are sad to leave such a beautiful setting in the wonderful City of Elmhurst, we are excited about the adaptive reuse of the new building in Oak Brook and future potential for the Museum.

Sincerely Yours,
Dorothy Asher