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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Part 7 - Phosphates, Molybdates, & Silicates

This final posting of items the Smithsonian gem and mineral collection features phosphates, molybdates, and silicates in the collection.


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Two Fluorapatite Crystals with Quartz from Panasqueira, Portugal Two Fluorapatite Crystals with Quartz from Panasqueira, Portugal


Wulfenite with Mimetite from Mapimi, Durango, Mexico Wulfenite with Mimetite from Mapimi, Durango, Mexico


Sparkling Wulfenite Crystal Cluster from Tsumeb, Namibia Sparkling Wulfenite Crystal Cluster from Tsumeb, Namibia


Giant Apatite Crystals with Calcite from Otter Lake, Quebec, Canada Giant Apatite Crystals with Calcite from Otter Lake, Quebec, Canada


Turquoise Vein from Los Cerillos, New Mexico Turquoise Vein from Los Cerillos, New Mexico


Crystallized Turquoise from Lynch Station, Virginia Crystallized Turquoise from Lynch Station, Virginia


Inesite with Apophyllite from Broken Hill, NSW, Australia Inesite with Apophyllite from Broken Hill, NSW, Australia


Pink Zoisite Spray from Spruce Pine, North Carolina Pink Zoisite Spray from Spruce Pine, North Carolina


Chondrodite with Chlorite from the Tilly Foster Mine, Brewster, New York Chondrodite with Chlorite from the Tilly Foster Mine, Brewster, New York


Meionite with Diopside from La Pachita Mine, Ayoquezezco, Oxaca, Mexico Meionite with Diopside from La Pachita Mine, Ayoquezezco, Oxaca, Mexico


Rhodonite with Calcite & Franklinite from Franklin, New Jersey Rhodonite with Calcite and Franklinite from Franklin, New Jersey


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Part 6 - Carbonates

Continuing our picture gallery of minerals and gemstones in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History collection, this post features some exceptional carbonate minerals on display in the museum.

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Large Calcite Crystal on Calcite from Shullsberg, Wisconsin Large Calcite Crystal on Calcite from Shullsberg, Wisconsin


Calcite with Duftite Inclusions, Resulting in Green Color, From Tsumeb, Namibia Calcite with Duftite Inclusions, Resulting in Green Color, From Tsumeb, Namibia


Pink Manganoan Calcite from the Idarado Mine, Ouray, Colorado, Namibia Manganoan Calcite from the Idarado Mine, Ouray, Colorado, Namibia


Brown Calcite with Goethite Inclusions from Santa Eulalia, Chihuahhua, Mexico Brown Calcite with Goethite Inclusions from Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico


Large Calcite Scalenohedron from Joplin, Missouri Large Calcite Scalenohedron from Joplin, Missouri


Deep Red Rhodochrosite from N'Chwaning Mine, Hotazel, South Africa Deep Red Rhodochrosite from N'Chwaning Mine, Hotazel, South Africa


Large Concentric Rhodochrosite Slab from Catamarca, Argentina Large Concentric Rhodochrosite Slab from Catamarca, Argentina


Huge botryoidal Malachite Blob from Shaba, D.R. Congo Huge botryoidal Malachite Blob from Shaba, D.R. Congo


Smithsonite Stalagmites from Tsumeb, Namibia Smithsonite Stalagmites from Tsumeb, Namibia


Nest-Shaped Malachite Formation from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona Nest-Shaped Malachite Formation from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona


Prismatic Azurite Crystal from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona Prismatic Azurite Crystal from the Copper Queen Mine, Bisbee, Arizona


Giant Calcite Crystal Cluster from the Woodchuck Mine, Cardin, Oklahoma Giant Calcite Crystal Cluster from the Woodchuck Mine, Cardin, Oklahoma



Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Part 5 - Oxides, Sulfides, & Halides

When we made our visit to the Smithsonian gem and mineral hall, we took hundreds of photos. After going through all of them, there are over 60 we felt worthwhile to post. Instead of making one long post with all of them, we divided then into several posts of related items. We had to think of a common grouping method, so we chose to separate the posts by mineral type classification. This post shows some of the oxides, sulfides, and halides in the Smithsonian collection.


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Cubic Halite with Calcite from Eisleben, Thuringen, Germany Cubic Halite with Calcite from Eisleben, Thuringen, Germany


Magnetite Octahedrons in Matrix from Binnantal, Valais, Switzerland Magnetite Octahedrons in Matrix from Binnantal, Valais, Switzerland


Green Fluorite Crystal and Cut Gems from Westmoreland, New Hampshire Green Fluorite Crystal and Cut Gems from Westmoreland, New Hampshire


Cumengite Crystal from the Santa Rosalia MIne, Boleo, Mexico Cumengite Crystal from the Santa Rosalia Mine, Boleo, Mexico


Etched Purple Fluorite Cubes from the Spar Mountain Mine, Cave in Rock, Illinois Etched Purple Fluorite Cubes from the Spar Mountain Mine, Cave in Rock, Illinois


Cuprite with Malachite Coating from the Onganja Mine, Seeis, Namibia Cuprite with Malachite Coating from the Onganja Mine, Seeis, Namibia


Quartz with Rutile Needle Inclusions from Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil Quartz with Rutile Inclusions from Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil


Skull-Shaped Marcasite from Montreal, Wisconsin Skull-Shaped Marcasite from Montreal, Wisconsin


Manganese Oxide Dendritic Crystal Growths in Matrix from Solnhofen, Bayern, Germany Manganese Oxide Dendritic Crystal Growths in Matrix from Solnhofen, Bayern, Germany


Complex Pyrite Crystal in Calcite from Franklin, New Jersey Complex Pyrite Crystal in Calcite from Franklin, New Jersey


Zincite Crystals and Cut Gems from Franklin, New Jersey Zincite Crystals and Cut Gems from Franklin, New Jersey


Molybdenite Crystal in Matrix from Chelan, Washington Molybdenite Crystal in Matrix from Chelan, Washington


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Part 4 - Collection Cases

Our next post on the Smithsonian Natural History Museum gem and mineral collection features some of the exhibit cases that showcase minerals in the Smithsonian collection. There are many different types of exhibit cases in the museum, and they are are grouped by themes such as mineral type, mineral group, or locality. Our selection is by no means a full representation of all the exhibit cases; there are many more than those shown here. Our selection is just some of the more photogenic cases where our pictures came out well.


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Wulfenite from Worldwide localities Wulfenite Exhibit Case


Calcite Exhibit Case Calcite Exhibit Case


Corundum Exhibit Case Corundum Exhibit Case


Beryl Exhibit Case Beryl Exhibit Case


Fluorite Exhibit Case Fluorite Exhibit Case


Zeolite Minerals Exhibit Case Zeolite Minerals Exhibit Case


Misc Exhibit Case Misc Exhibit Case. I am not sure what the theme for this case is.


Gypsum Exhibit Case Gypsum Exhibit Case


Crystal Twins and Other Interesting Crystal Habits Crystal Twins and Other Interesting Crystal Habits


Tourmaline Exhibit Case Tourmaline Exhibit Case


Topaz Exhibit Case Topaz Exhibit Case


Minerals from Bisbee, Arizona Minerals from Bisbee, Arizona


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Part 3 - Precious Metals and Metal Compounds

The Smithsonian gem and mineral collection contains an amazing array of Gold, Silver, and rare metal compounds. Many of the Gold and Silver specimens are among the finest for their localities, and there are also many examples from unusual localities. While not all the minerals show here are composed of precious metals, they are still rare and unusual examples of metallic compounds, especially sulfosalts.


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Jordanite, Lengenbach Quarry, Binntal, Switzerland Jordanite, Lengenbach Quarry, Binntal, Switzerland


Jamesonite with Calcite, Cavnic, Maramures, Romania Jamesonite with Calcite, Cavnic, Maramures, Romania


Bournonite, Quiruvilca, Peru Bournonite, Quiruvilca, Peru


Dyscrasite with Stibarsen from Pribram, Czech Republic Dyscrasite with Stibarsen from Pribram, Czech Republic


Hessite with Quartz, Botes Transylvania, Romania Hessite with Quartz, Botes Transylvania, Romania


Enargite with Pyrite, Butte, Montana Enargite with Pyrite, Butte, Montana


Polybasite from the Las Chispas Mine, Arizpe, Sonoroa, Mexico Polybasite from the Las Chispas Mine, Arizpe, Sonoroa, Mexico


Exhibit Case of Silver and Copper Exhibit Case of Silver and Copper


Thick Silver Wire with Calcite, Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico Thick Silver Wire with Calcite, Batopilas, Chihuahua, Mexico


Silver S Wire from Dreikonigsstein, Lahr, Baden-Wurttenberg, Germany Silver "S" Wire from Dreikonigsstein, Lahr, Baden-Wurttenberg, Germany


Exhibit Case of Gold Exhibit Case of Gold


Gold Nugget, Whitehall Mine, Spotsylvania Co., Virginia Gold Nugget, Whitehall Mine, Spotsylvania Co., Virginia


Large Gold Nugget, Telegraph Mine, California Large Gold Nugget (898.4 grams), Telegraph Mine, California


Hoppered Gold Crystal, Amador Co., California Hoppered Gold Crystal, Amador Co., California