Objects and specimens were lost to the museum for all kinds of reasons during the Second World War. These gemstones from Thailand arrived in September 1940, just as the Blitz campaign began. They were given by the British government as compensation for an important collection of agates which had been requisitioned for the war effort.
The agates from the museum collection were sent to London and likely used to make parts for fighter planes, described in a letter to the museum as ‘important war work’. Although the leftover fragments were returned to the museum (see Survivors) the gemstones from Thailand were not really a fair exchange for the agates. They might have looked spectacular, but they did not have the same scientific and historical importance for Liverpool’s collection.