This post is a continuation of the previous one, showcasing some of the outstanding minerals in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The museum contains thousands of exceptional minerals on display, and it was difficult to choose which ones should be added to these posts, as I took many good photos of many good minerals. I'll save more for my next visit when the museum reopens the mineral exhibit in 2020. In the meantime, enjoy these current photos for now.
Harmotome from Dunbarton, Scotland
Multicolored Fluorite from Elizabethtown, Illinois
Rutile Twin from Parkersburg, Pennsylvania
Sulfur Barrel Crystal from Cianciana, Italy
Scorodite from Zacatecas, Mexico
Calcite with Copper Inclusions from Lake Superior, off the Michigan Coast
Exceptionally Large Legrandite from Mapimi, Durango, Mexico
The World's Largest Stibnite on Display, from Wuling, China
Gold Leaf Formation from the Red Ledge Mine, Washington, Nevada
The Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems in the American Museum of Natural History is a room within the museum mineral hall filled with both natural and cut gemstones. There are many famous gemstones in the collection. The Star of India, one of the centerpieces of the hall, is a 563 carat Star Sapphire, one of the largest such gems in the world. The DeLong Star Ruby is a 100 carat Star Ruby with bright color and strong asterism. The Patricia Emerald is a very large iconic Colombian Emerald crystal at 632 carats. These highlights are but a fraction of the gemstones in the vast collection, with many additional outstanding pieces on display.
According to the museum website, the hall of gemstones, which closed in October this year, is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2019 after extensive renovations, as the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.
Ruby Crystals from Afghanistan and Myanmar (Burma)
Diamond Crystals in Conglomerate Matrix from Minas Gerais, Brazil
Another Diamond in Conglomerate Matrix from Brazil. (Can you find the Diamond?)
Diamond in Kimberlite Matrix from the Mir Pipe, Russia
Diamond in Kimberlite Matrix from Kimberley, South Africa
Exhibit Case of Quartz Gemstones
The American Museum of Natural History has some important minerals on display from the nearby volcanic traprock quarries of northeastern New Jersey. There is an exhibit case dedicated to these minerals, as well as sporadic representation of New Jersey traprock minerals in other cases. Many of the labels list the locality as "West Paterson," presumably referring to the Upper New Street Quarry, which is in fact in Paterson, and not West Paterson. Nevertheless, in our caption, we kept the "West Paterson" designation when used for lack of certainty.
The display case for the North Jersey traprock minerals has a plaque that states the following:
"A unique collection of minerals, resulting from volcanic activity, exists less than 20 miles west of New York City. Near Paterson, New Jersey, where lava flows had hardened into basalt, many of the fissures, vesicles, and other openings in the basaltic rock were filled or coated with a distinct assemblage of minerals. These include a range of related minerals known as the zeolites - Chabazite, Heulandite, Mesolite, Stilbite, and others. Attractive minerals such as Prehnite, Datolite, Pectolite, and Apophyllite are also present along with the zeolites. Because crushed basalt is a valuable rock for construction, many quarries once operated in the basaltic rock of northern New Jersey. Some of the minerals they uncovered, which number more than 60, can be seen here."
Primary Case of Volcanic Traprock Minerals from the Paterson Area, New Jersey
Thaumasite from Paterson, NJ
Franklin, New Jersey, is an old mining district that lies about 40 miles northwest of Manhattan. Its fame lies in its rich deposits of zinc, exploited through the 1950's. The Franklin Mine is world-famous for being the most proficient source of fluorescent minerals, and is known as the fluorescent capital of the world. It also has produced over 300 known minerals, one of the largest mineral counts for a single locality. Nearby, in the borough of Ogdensburg, is a continuation of the same ore vein, with the same assemblage of minerals. Both Franklin and Ogdensburg have produced very important mineral specimens, with old classics such as Rhodonite and Willemite within the cases of museums throughout the world. The American Museum of Natural History is no exception, having a special affinity to these locations due to their proximity.
Presented below are some of the minerals on display from Franklin and Ogdensburg, New Jersey. This post concludes our museum report on the American Museum of Natural History. However, visit our Instagram page for additional photos not included on these pages.
Barrel-Shaped Molybdenite Crystal from Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, NJ
Native Copper from Franklin, NJ
Zincite, Odd Formation, from Franklin, NJ
I took my family on a trip in the summer to Asheville, North Carolina, where we observed the eclipse in the Great Smokey Mountains. While in the area, we visited the Asheville Museum of Science (www.ashevillescience.org), in downtown Asheville. This museum is very small, consisting of only two rooms, and one of these rooms contains the Colburn Hall of Minerals.
The museum, as well as the mineral displays, are geared towards young children, and the mineral collection is not particularly significant or impressive. Much of the collection on display consists of common minerals, which lack locality labels. However, there were a few local specimens of interest on display from North Carolina that were worth photographing and sharing. These include North Carolina Gold
, and Kyanite
This is a good museum for young children, as it is very kid-friendly with hands-on exhibits and play areas. However, it is surprisingly small, and my family and I were ready to go in under an hour having seen and experienced everything.
Below are photos of some North Carolina minerals of interest from the museum collection:
Asheville Museum of Science Colburn Hall of Minerals
Gold from the Reed Mine in N.C., the First Gold Mine in the U.S.
Single Hiddenite Crystals with Beautiful Green Color
Large North Carolina Emerald Crystals
Large Gemmy Emerald Crystal from North Carolina
Large Kyanite Crystal from North Carolina
Deep Blue Kyanite Crystal on Matrix