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The Story of Gems and Minerals at NHM

How did the Museum acquire all of its gem and mineral specimens over time?

Download "95 Years of Gems & Minerals at NHM" (PDF) to read all about how this popular department has grown. Learn more >

MINERAL SCIENCES

Visit the web page of the Department of Mineral Sciences! You will find information about the staff, the Gem and Mineral Collection, and the ongoing science!

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Want to keep in touch with the news from the Mineral Sciences Department, the field trips we organize, gems and minerals, the latest science discoveries, and much more? Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our MinBlog!

 

Adopt-A-Mineral Program

The Adopt-A-Mineral program, offered through the museum's Gem & Mineral Council and its Mineral Sciences Department, provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to directly promote the growth of the museum’s gem and mineral collections and at the same time to get their "name in lights." Here’s the way it works:

A person or group can adopt one of the gems or minerals purchased for the Museum with Gem & Mineral Council funds by making a contribution equivalent to the current estimated value of the specimen. In return, the adopted specimen will always bear the donor’s name or designated credit line. Each specimen can only be adopted once and adoptions are permanent. The adopted specimen will be a permanent tribute to the donor’s generosity. Monies received for adoptions are restricted to the purchase of additional specimens for the Museum’s gem and mineral collections.

Please consider adopting mineral and gem specimens to help us expand and improve our collections. You can find a list of minerals for adoption here. To know more, please contact the Gem & Mineral Council.

Here is a list of our recent gems, minerals and yes, meteorites, to adopt!


Lunar Meteorite.

This meteorite from the MOON, called Dar Al Gani 400 is up for adoption! A piece of the MOON, anyone? The meteorite was collected in Libya on March 10, 1998. This slice weighs 1.66 grams and its dimensions are 38 x 25 x 15 mm (catalog number 62726). It will soon be displayed in the meteorite show case!

Martian Meteorite.

Yes! This piece of the planete MARS is up for adoption! How cool it would be to have your name associated to this rock from MARS! This Martian meteorite is already on this exhibit hall, in the meteorite show case. This martian meteorite, named "Los Angeles II", is a shergottite. This slice weighs 13 grams, and its dimensions are: 51 x 41 x 4 mm. The meteorite was collected in the Mojave Desert in California (catalog number: 62566).

Quartz / Amethyst scepter, Hallelujah junction, Lassen County, CA.

If quartz and amethyst have been found on the other side of the Californian border, in Nevada, this is so far the best quartz / amethyst specimen found so far in the Californian part of Hallelujah junction. This specimen fits perfectly into the Gem and Mineral Hall specialty: Minerals from California... and... is up for adoption! It is about 15 cm high by 6.8 cm where the scepter is the widest. 

Quartz crystals with oil, Balochistan, Pakistan.

These two quartz crystals (natural faces) from Pakistan contain some oil inclusions. The oil is at the fluid state inside the inclusions, and bubbles of gaz can be seen moving inside the fluid, while moving the quartz. The inclusions present a bright whitish-blue fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet light. Each crystal is approximately 2.5 x 1.6 x 1.7 cm. You can adopt these quartz crystals!

Ruby, California.

This RUBY-bearing rock is waiting for someone to adopt it! And wait: these are not random rubies: this rock was mined in CALIFORNIA, at Cascade Canyon, in San Bernardino County. The dimensions of the specimen are 207x178x70mm (catalog number: 62728).

Triplite, Pakistan.

This extremely rare collector's gemstone weighs 2.55 ct, and comes from the region of Baltistan in Pakistan. It is a phosphate, measuring 10x10x8mm and is already on display in the Gem Vault. It is one of our favorites!

 

Recently adopted

Apatite, Madagascar.

This big (23.19 ct) faceted BLUE APATITE has just been adopted by Janice Holland (who is now the official donor of the gem). It was mined in Madagascar (catalog number: 62727). This wonderful apatite will join soon other precious gems inside the Gem Vault with Janice's name next to it!!

To get information on how to ADOPT A MINERAL, please contact the Gem & Mineral Council.