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American Museum of Natural History Visit: Part 6 - New Jersey Traprocks

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."


Main Case of Volcanic Minerals from the Paterson Area, New Jersey
Primary Case of Volcanic Traprock Minerals from the Paterson Area, New Jersey

Prehnite from Paterson, NJ
Prehnite from Paterson, NJ

{homsonite from Paterson, NJ
Thomsonite from Paterson, NJ

Thaumasite from Paterson, NJ
Thaumasite from Paterson, NJ

Pectolite from West Paterson, NJ
Pectolite from West Paterson, NJ

Prehnite from West Paterson, NJ
Prehnite from West Paterson, NJ

Chabazite from West Paterson, NJ
Chabazite from West Paterson, NJ

Quartz Cast after Anhydrite from West Paterson, NJ
Quartz Cast after Anhydrite from West Paterson, NJ

Stilbite from West Paterson, NJ
Stilbite from West Paterson, NJ

Chalcopyrite on Pectolite from Bergen Hill, NJ
Chalcopyrite on Pectolite from Bergen Hill, NJ

Barite from Prospect Park, NJ
Barite from Prospect Park, NJ

Thomsonite with Prehnite from Paterson, NJ
Thomsonite with Prehnite from Paterson, NJ

Analcime with Prehnite from Paterson, NJ
Analcime with Prehnite from Paterson, NJ

Large Prehnite from Paterson, NJ
Large Prehnite from Paterson, NJ

Apophyllite from Great Notch, NJ
Apophyllite from Great Notch, NJ

American Museum of Natural History Visit: Part 7 - Franklin NJ Minerals

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.


Franklinite in Calcite from Franklin, NJ
Franklinite in Calcite from Franklin, NJ

Hemimorphite from Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, NJ
Hemimorphite from Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, NJ

Barrel-Shaped Molybdenite Crystal from Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, NJ
Barrel-Shaped Molybdenite Crystal from Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, NJ

Rhodonite%} from Franklin, NJ
Rhodonite from Franklin, NJ

Franklinite with Willemite from Franklin, NJ
Franklinite with Willemite from Franklin, NJ

Zincite Crystals from Franklin, NJ
Zincite Crystals from Franklin, NJ

Radiating Willemite from Franklin, NJ
Radiating Willemite from Franklin, NJ

Native Copper from Franklin, NJ
Native Copper from Franklin, NJ

Axinite from Paterson, NJ
Axinite from Franklin, NJ

Zincite, Odd Formation, from Franklin, NJ
Zincite, Odd Formation, from Franklin, NJ

Asheville Museum of Science Colburn Hall of Minerals

I too 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, Hiddenite, Emerald, 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
Asheville Museum of Science Colburn Hall of Minerals


Gold from the Reed Mine in N.C., the First Gold Mine in the U.S.
Gold from the Reed Mine in N.C., the First Gold Mine in the U.S.


Colburn Special Hiddenite Case
Colburn Special Hiddenite Case


Large Matrix Hiddenite Specimen
Large Matrix Hiddenite Specimen


Single Hiddenite Crystals with Beautiful Green Color
Single Hiddenite Crystals with Beautiful Green Color


Large North Carolina Emerald Crystals
Large North Carolina Emerald Crystals


Large Gemmy Emerald Crystal from North Carolina
Large Gemmy Emerald Crystal from North Carolina


Large Kyanite Crystal from North Carolina
Large Kyanite Crystal from North Carolina


Deep Blue Kyanite Crystal on Matrix
Deep Blue Kyanite Crystal on Matrix


Tellus Museum Visit, Part 1: Introduction

I made a trip earlier this year to Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, while visiting family in Atlanta. Located about an hour north of Atlanta, Tellus Museum is an impressive natural history museum with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I traveled with extended family, which included young children, and found the exhibits to be very conducive to all ages. All members of my party, ranging all ages, enjoyed their visit.


One of the highlights of the museum is their outstanding hall of minerals. Aside from the abundance of quality mineral specimens on exhibit, the displays are well-lit, spacious, and have good labels and associated reading material. The museum has an extensive collection of Georgia minerals, which is in all probability the best collection of this type on public display. Georgia cases include Graves Mountain, Jackson Crossroads Amethyst, Emerson Barites, and Georgia Gold. Many fine worldwide minerals are also represented at the museum, with different themes in each display case.


Prior to November 2007, the museum was known as the Weinman Mineral Museum. The museum closed and reopened in 2008 as Tellus Science Museum, expanding the museum beyond minerals to include additional science and technology displays, as well as hands-on features. Despite the expansion of the museum into other science areas, the original theme of minerals is still very much present and a primary attraction of the museum, along with fossils and dinosaur exhibits.


I had the privilege of meeting Jose Santamaria, the executive director of the museum, during my visit. He gave me a detailed tour of the museum and mineral hall, explaining each case and some of the minerals in detail. I had the opportunity to take many photos during this trip, which I am proud to share here on Minerals.net. The museum reports will be divided into several posts, composed of the following:

  • Georgia Display Cases
  • Individual Georgia Minerals
  • Graves Mountain Minerals
  • Worldwide Collection

The pictures in this post include general scenes of the Weinman Mineral Gallery and some highlights, as well as some of the gigantic "interest-catchers" that the museum has on exhibit.


Tellus Museum Weinman Mineral Gallery Plaques
Weinman Mineral Gallery Plaques


Entrance to the Mineral Exhibitions
Entrance to the Mineral Exhibitions


Perspective Photo of the Mineral Exhibitions
Perspective Photo of the Mineral Exhibitions


Tellus Museum Layout of the Mineral Cases. Pictorial Periodical Table is to the Left.
Layout of the Mineral Cases. Pictorial Periodical Table is to the Left.


Tellus Museum Pictorial Periodical Table of the Elements, with Examples of Each Element
Pictorial Periodical Table of the Elements, with Examples of Each Element.


Giant Brazilian Quartz geode near the Entrance of the Weinman Mineral Gallery at the Tellus Museum
Giant Brazilian Quartz geode near the Entrance of the Mineral Gallery


Giant Float Copper Boulder from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan Tellus Museum
Giant Float Copper Boulder from the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan


Cartersville GA Meteorite that fell Nearby, on Display near the Mineral Hall Tellus Museum
Cartersville Meteorite that fell Nearby, on Display near the Mineral Hall


Cartersville Meteorite that fell Nearby, on Display near the Mineral Hall
Zoomed into the Cartersville Meteorite

Tellus Museum Visit, Part 2: Georgia Display Cases

Continuing with the posts on Tellus Museum mineral exhibits, this article features some of the display cases of Georgia minerals. Tellus Museum has the best public collection of minerals of Georgia, represented in several different cases. Graves Mountain, the most famous mineral locality in the state, will have its own dedicated post.


Case of Georgia Gold
Case of Georgia Gold


Minerals of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Zones of Georgia
Minerals of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont Zones of Georgia


Calcite from Georgia
Calcite from Georgia


Fluorescent Willemite and Calcite Richard Bostwick and Tema Hecht
Minerals of the Georgia Coastal Plain


The Largest Crystal Cluster of Amethyst from Georgia
The Largest Amethyst Crystal Cluster from Georgia


Amethyst Georgia
Georgia Amethyst


The Cumberland Plateau, Valley & Ridge
The Cumberland Plateau, Valley & Ridge


Barite from Georgia
Barite from Georgia


Rock Types from Georgia
Rock Types from Georgia